So many people ask me “how do I find work-life balance?”
There are no easy answers to that question, and there may not actually be any such thing as “balance.” My personal belief, and one of the things I emphasize when coaching, is that we all have a finite amount of life energy. How we choose to spend it really is up to us.
Boundaries between work and personal life seem to me to be arbitrary. Given the always-on expectations for email, text, social media and other means of communication, it’s hard to keep clear boundaries between time with family, time for our work and time for ourselves.
Rather than seeking balance, I recommend you think about creating alignment. If you are clear about what matters most to you, those things can become a touchstone to which you return whenever you are trying to decide how to spend your time and life energy.
I can’t promise creating alignment will be easy, but the steps below can serve as a toolkit. Use these ideas for making real-time decisions about aligning your time and energy with the tasks you face.
- Start by making a list of the top 10 things that matter most to you. Whether work or home, it’s all one life, so put it all on this one list. This is your Priority List.
- Make a list of the top 10 things you actually spend your time doing in a week. This is your Task List.
- Look at where these lists line up and where they don’t.
- If you find things on your Task List that don’t match anything on your Priority List, your time is out of alignment with your priorities. Think about saying “no” to those tasks that don’t reflect what’s important to you.
- If you find things on your Priority List that aren’t anywhere to be seen on your Task List, you need to realign. Choose one item, then think about a change you could make in the next week to move that item onto your calendar.
- Repeat this process at least monthly, and perhaps weekly. Over time, it will help you realign your life.
What is one thing you would like to change in the next week to rebalance your tasks and priorities?
Last updated June 19, 2018