There are times when balancing life responsibilities can become overwhelming. Have you ever felt that setting priorities between work and life can be at odds? The balancing act can feel like you are walking on a tight rope with no safety net below. Also, deciding the best use of your time changes depending on the chapter of life you are experiencing.
What matters most to you and your family changes with life circumstances. It may be spending more time at the ball field watching kids play their Little League games rather than the extra hour at the office. It may be finding time to visit relatives living in a different city. Or it may be burning the midnight oil for several weeks, completing that start-up business project.
Happiness and work/life balance can be managed and achieved, if we know the parts and the causes of our own well-being. These components include understanding our passions, responsibilities, and life goals. Therefore, life balance can be understood, planned, and attained just like any other important life goal. It starts with answering a few questions to establish your overall life trajectory.
What do you believe you were meant to achieve in life?
Take an inventory of your skills, knowledge, and abilities. You probably know certain things that come naturally to you — things in life that you care deeply about. Think about ways in which you can align your skills, knowledge, and abilities with that passion. Such alignment helps you discover the deeper impact you can have on the world around you.
What are the non-negotiable responsibilities you have right now?
Depending on the life chapter you are experiencing, you may find that you must make certain responsibilities your priorities. Whether it is getting that college degree, taking time to attend to family members, or completing an important client’s project — sometimes you have to put obligations ahead of other activities in which you would much rather participate.
What aspects of your life are under construction?
Even if there are life responsibilities that you are addressing, don’t lose sight of your long-range life trajectory. For example, you may wish to establish your own consulting business, yet you have family obligations that keep you from being able to strike out on your own. Think of ways to establish an action plan where you continue to develop aspects of the business over the upcoming years until your family obligations shift. Developing strategies that allow you to move toward your goal as you handle priority obligations will allow you to achieve the purpose you wish to embrace.
How can you set boundaries to protect your time?
Time is a valuable commodity that cannot be replaced once it is gone. Use your time wisely. As you handle responsibilities in life, make certain that you protect how your time is spent, and be mindful that over-committing does not have a positive effect.
The goal is to love the life you love to live — whatever that looks like. Step back, look in the mirror, and assess where you have been and where you want to go. Focus on the one area in your life that, once improved, will have significant and lasting results on your life or business. Maybe you need to rethink how you are balancing home life and work. Concentrate your energies on the area that is under construction so you can enhance your life and enjoy the journey.