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Work-life balance is a joke

Work-life balance is a joke.

Let’s face it. We are all soooo busy. For most of us, work consumes our schedule more than we’d like to think it does. You know what I mean. We check email as soon as we wake up…we work all day and then check it again and reply to people before we go to bed.

If you’re like me, I take the kids to school…pick them up from school…take them to tutoring and extracurricular activities every evening. I make dinner a few nights a week. I make time for my husband and I to connect nightly as well as with date nights on the weekend. 

It’s a LOT of things.

Over the years, I’ve heard so many podcasts and read articles about maintaining a balance between work and personal life. I don’t know about you, but I think all of that is hogwash. 

We are so digitally inter-connected that frankly, if you’re a high performer, it’s impossible to balance work and life. So, the question becomes…how do you have a life with everything else happening all at the same time?

I know this will be a shocker to some of you, but for my friends and people who’ve been reading my blogs the past few months, what I’m going to preach about here is no surprise!  

Balance happens when you prioritize your values and then plan it. 

I have a three-step process to help you think through how to strive for balance in your own life.

  1. Take 15-20 minutes and really think about the things you value. For me, I value the time to dig deep with my work. I value time with my kids. I value my time with my husband. I value my “me” time too. So, what are the things you value?

  2. Now, take a look at your values list. Then, get out your calendar and take a look at how you’ve spent your time the past few weeks prioritizing your values. Do you see gaps? How are you spending your time? If you value getting healthy and working out, did you plan time to go to the gym? If you value getting to know your employees on a more intimate scale, have you planned time to take someone to lunch and get to know them better?

    I’m a believer that in order to be successful, you need to start small…focus on 2 to 3 values that mean the most to you. If you try to focus on much more than that, you’ll quickly get overwhelmed. 

  3. Take your top 2-3 values and plot them out on your calendar for this next week. Just one week. For me, this past week, I scheduled my workouts. I scheduled the emails and phone calls I need to make to those people I need to connect with now that the holidays are past. I scheduled a date night with my husband too! 

Let me tell ya, when I write things down and it’s on my calendar…those things typically happen. Now, in all fairness, I had a sick kid this past week and one of my workouts didn’t happen. That’s ok. I was able to workout the next day. 

The point is – you have to schedule or calendar your values in order to prioritize them. Life will always throw you off course, but I don’t believe in work-life balance. I believe balance comes when you prioritize those things that are important to you.

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