Maintaining overall wellness and quality of life can be tough for everyone but what happens when you are a freelancer, start up employee or entrepreneur?
The idea of Work/Life balance has been kicked around and over stated as the ideal. Where does passion fit into this equation and when the two bleed into each other in a unique way? For years we have been encouraged to seek “balance” among the different parts of our lives. How do you manage the different parts of your life when you are already juggling clients, irregular schedules and your own ambitions in a non tradition career path?
My take, balance doesn’t work because balance sets you up for disappointments and frustrations when certain areas get more attention than others. What I would like to propose is that you seek harmony not balance. Leave the balancing for budgets, not life.
Here are 5 tips to get you thinking about how to manage it all harmoniously.
- Understand what your values and priorities are. If you are clear about what is important in your life it is easier to figure out what to focus on at any given time. Big picture: what do you want your life to look like? Then you can work on creating the conditions for that bigger picture of your life with smaller actions and decisions.
- Create boundaries for yourself. Once you know what your priorities are you can create healthy boundaries when you feel you might be getting a bit carried away in one area or another.
- Acceptance that things can and will get a little out of whack. Sometimes we are not able to do all of the things that we would like to. Sometimes we will have to work later because of a deadline, or spend more time with loved ones when they really need us. Maybe you take a day off from working out because you’ve run out of time or energy but you still cook a healthy meal to keep on point with overall health goals. Keep your intentions good, your expectations high and your resolve strong to forgive yourself when you fall off a specific mark.
- Be present. Whatever you are doing at the moment in whichever domain you are focusing on be there now. Make the most of the time where you are at and give it your undivided attention. If you are at dinner with your partner, be there not checking your email. If you have carved out 10 minutes to put your kids to bed give them your all in that time you have. If an employee comes to you with a concern or a need zero in on how you can support their work 100% in the time you are meeting.
- Have a sense of pride. You are cultivating your own life on your own terms. Not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur, starter upper or a freelancer. You chose this path not typically for the risk averse. Take the autonomy that may at times feel overwhelming and wear it as a symbol of pride.