Balance is one of the most used terms in business and in life. You might often get asked the question, “How is your work/life balance?” or “Are you balancing everything well?”. As a leader, you might have asked yourself if you are balanced in some different areas.
The short of it is… balance is an ideal goal, not an outcome.
Put another way, balance is something we strive for, but rarely obtain for a long period. The world we live in does not operate that way. We are constantly pushed and pulled from all different directions. When I think about balancing I think about an older scale with the weights. In order for the scale to be perfectly in line it takes tiny changes in the scale and then you have to let it settle in order to see if it is truly balanced. Here comes the problem… The world we live in does not operate that way. We are constantly pushed and pulled from all different directions.
When we stop thinking of balance as an outcome of our choices and start seeing it as an ideal goal that we strive for it can be extremely freeing.
What do I mean by all this? Let’s look at an example.
Over the last 2 months you have been working diligently to balance your schedule. You have said no to certain things and yes to others in order to make sure your time is equally balanced. As you smile at your perfectly balanced schedule you receive an urgent email from your boss asking you to take over a 3 week project. She makes it clear that there is no option here… the project is yours as of now.
At this point, you could throw you hands up and get frustrated knowing that your balanced time outcome is now all messed up and will be messed up for the next 3 weeks. This could lead you to having a bad attitude toward the project and lead to poor work. Or you could view balance as something the ebbs and flows. For now, you will be using a lot of time on the project and be unbalanced in order to get the work done well and on time. You know that you will once again get there and you keep that as your ideal goal, not as your immediate outcome.
Balance is healthy. Balance should be on your radar. But remember, balance is an ideal goal… not an outcome.
If you want to read further on balance and time,
I highly recommend Michael Hyatts new book “Free To Focus”.
Are you finding balance to be difficult? Could you use some additional help in the area of balance? We have a great coaching process for determining what balance looks like in your professional and personal life! Click below to contact us about our coaching plans.