A full-plate season. Too much in my plate. Busy, busy, busy!!! Overwhelmed. Stretched. Worn.
Do any of these resonate with you?
Recently I was talking to one of my allies (my term for my coaching clients), and the discussion turned to work life balance. My ally wanted to achieve a better work life balance. The perception was that life was way out of balance on the work side. I asked what a good percentage would be for work time vs non-work time. The I asked what the current reality was.
Their response was surprising, but I feel all too common.
80/20 was the sheepish, almost embarrassed answer. So we had a discussion about what that looked like and what it meant. Life was engulfed by work, and even when not at work, my ally was constantly sorting through head thoughts and managing a spinning head, even while trying to do something relaxing like watching a movie.
Being present has become almost impossible as the constant head-spinning and reminders of work played on repeat.
We talked through some strategies as well as some boundaries to set up for the future to make sure changes we made would stick and that there were checks and balances in place to set up for continued success. And said a few strategic no’s for things that weren’t helping to set up for future success.
As I pondered this after our session, I thought about the concept of work life balance and realized that it is really just life balance as it is hard to truly separate the two. Work is just part of life. A big part. Something will always be out of balance and that is how life works.
The point is knowing how to recognize when this is happening and to put in some checks and balances to make sure that it doesn’t keep going that way.
I had a season of life where I tried to balance work, being a dad to two boys, being a husband to Amy, building a new dental office, being on two boards, and Ironman triathlon. Everything was out of balance. Something had to give. It took awhile, but triathlon, at least at that distance, was not sustainable. It had to go. The photo was taken during that maxed- out season.
There are a lot of ways to attack an imbalanced work life ratio, but it is often good to start by seeing if something has to go. Not for ever, but maybe for now. Until you get through the current season and re-evaluate your time.
There are always parts of life that will take more time and more energy. But maybe not all of them are necessary.
Which parts of life will position you best to #WINtheNOW? Do you need to say a few strategic no’s in this season of life? To say a few not nows to the requests in your time?
It may never be fully balanced, but we don’t have to make it worse.