I have a confession: The past two months have been extremely challenging for me.
I’ve been planning a series of high profile weddings that have truly put me through the “Work/Life Balance” test. To be honest, I’m not sure that I passed. Surprisingly, I can say this with a sincere heart and a tranquil mind. You see, the truth is that work/life balance is defined very differently by all of us. Right now I’m doing my best to have the best of both worlds, but I am not embarrassed to say that it’s not an easy task. Even admitting that takes work!
While it hasn’t always been clear, the longer I live, the more I have began to understand that when we are doing what we truly love, our hearts and minds will always be ready for new challenges (and the levels stress and success that accompany them). Among the list of challenges is often the question of how to adequately divide your time between your family and the work that you love to do.
How do we do this? Quite frankly, I’m still trying to figure it out.
Since we are all different, I don’t believe there is one right and final answer. You simply have to do what works for you.
Most of us in this business want the same thing: a fabulous career and a healthy way of life that allows us to share the best parts of our lives with the people we love. However, when you are passionate about what you do, it’s very easy to forget how to balance. If you are in this situation, you are not alone. Still, there are ways to work towards a calmer and more balanced way of life. Here are a few I have found to work for me. I hope you will find them useful.
1. Start slow. You don’t have to make major changes, you just need to agree to start thinking about you. This isn’t selfish, it’s self-preserving.
2. Incorporate things into your schedule that will bring you joy. Keep it simple. Take time out to exercise, watch your favorite TV show, or use an hour of your day to play board games with the family. On particularly challenging days, close the door of your room or office, light a candle and meditate on the good things in your life.
3. Leave your office on time whenever possible. It’s easy to get into a routine that keeps you at your desk even when you are done with your day’s work. If this is difficult for you, start slow and set realistic goals. Try to do this at least twice a week.
4. Whatever you do don’t forget to take time out for vacation. Spending time with your family and or friends will surely re-energize you even if it’s just for a few days. It will also strengthen the bonds you have with your loved ones.
5. Learn to set boundaries. This is the most difficult one (I’m still working on this). Create rules that work for you and expect they will be respected by your co-workers and friends.
6. As much as we want to please everyone, let us not forget that if we don’t take care of ourselves we won’t be able to service others.
How do you balance work and play well or do you need a little help yourself? If so, how will you incorporate one of these ideas into your new routine?
With a Happy Heart,
Kathy Romero is the Director of Event Planning for Preston Bailey Designs. She shares her thoughts and advice on Preston’s Blog every Thursday.
(Photo Courtesy of Emily Gilbert)