When I introduce myself at networking meetings I often say that I provide support, sanity and success strategies for people juggling business and personal life.
And sanity is what most people leap at! The funny thing is, it’s not rocket science actually, when you come to think of it: Sanity comes with that feeling of knowing what you’re doing, and seeing how it contributes to the bigger picture.
Sanity comes when you realize you don’t have to be supermum to get great results in business and have great fun with the kids. It helps when you know you don’t have to do it all and can be selective about what you do, and know that you can do that well.
Sanity comes when you focus on what you do want, instead of trying to achieve balance like some sort of equation.
If you’re trying to “balance” work and family like a set of scales, every time you spend some time on the work side of things, it tips the balance, and you think perhaps you should do something with the kids to “make up for it”. The same happens vice versa.
The problem is, the attention is always on the other side. When you’re working, your focus is on the kids, when you’re with the kids, your focus is on work. And that means you’re less effective in what you’re doing, less present and you enjoy it less as well.
Instead if you focus on what you do want, not what’s missing, you’re more likely to make it happen. Don’t think of all the things you’re not doing with your children, what do you want to do with them? What’s important to you about the time you spend with your kids? If you only had an hour right now to spend with your children, what make it a fantastic, memorable and precious hour of time really well spent?
One way I like to think of things, instead of balance, is like a dance – when you dance, or when you watch a dance, there’s a rhythm and variety. It’s not a sequence of scientific, equally measured, uniform steps. It’s expressive, passionate and full of life.
And that’s how I’d like to encourage you to be this summer – ditch the idea that life has to be ‘balanced’ and design it how you want, around what matters to you, with all the features and highlights that are important to you.
Grace Marshall blogs at grace-marshall.com and is our Midlands Productivity Ninja. She is running a session of ‘Getting Your Inbox to Zero’ in Stafford on 20th September 2013 and will get your inbox squeaky clean and organised in just three hours.