There’s a lot of talk about balance these days.
Balance means different things to different people, but for most people, balance is about managing the different areas of your life – professional life, social life, family life – at the same time. If you manage to do this in a way that suits you, it can help to prevent you from feeling overwhelmed.
A good starting point for creating a more balanced life is to ask yourself what you want and need in your life. Once you know what you want, you can start to work out how to get it.
One way of doing this is to work out your non-negotiables. These are the things you’re not willing to compromise. They can affect the decisions you make such as what kind of job you do and how you live your life.
Some of your non-negotiables at work might include flexible working, a short commute or organisational values that are aligned with your own. At home they might include shared responsibilities for chores and childcare. Once you know what your non-negotiables are, you can start to create better boundaries with those around you.
If you start to move away from them, remind yourself why they’re non-negotiable. This doesn’t mean you can never be flexible, but if you remind yourself why certain things are non-negotiable, this will help you create more balance.
If you’re saying yes to this, what are you saying no to?
If you feel as though you’re taking on too much, ask yourself this question: If I’m saying yes to this, what am I saying no to? If you’re saying yes to taking on an extra project at work, are you saying no to spending time with family and friends?
You don’t have an unlimited amount of time, so it’s important to spend it wisely. Ask yourself if you really need to be doing something. If it’s not serving any purpose, leave it.
Once you’ve decided what you want to say yes to, start prioritising. Not everything needs to be done now.
This can often be forgotten about, but it’s important to look after yourself. It’s easy to forget when you’re spending your time looking after everyone else’s needs, but if you don’t take care of yourself, you’ll never find balance.
When trying to create a more balanced life, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. You have to work out what’s best for you and you might not get it right all the time, but if you remind yourself why you’re trying to create a more balanced life, this will keep you on the right track.
This article was written by Aileen Carson, professional coach. Aileen helps women progress with their career without burning out. You can get in touch with Aileen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
May 1, 2023