The Failproof Way To Make A Breakthrough
Work-life balance (or even life balance in general) is not an easy task to master. If it were, the life coach industry wouldn’t be flourishing the way it is now – a quick Google search on “life balance” will give you no less than 25 million results. Clearly, we’re all feeling the strain – and it’s more than likely we’ve all felt the frustration of trying to “get our lives balanced” again and again, only to have it fail to work out as we’d hoped.
That royally sucks. And frankly, it’s unacceptable. We deserve better than to live reactive lives, hoping things will get better but feeling in our gut like they never will. So let’s start putting an end to the cycle.
How To Overcome A Lack Of Balance (Or Just About Anything Else)
The truth is, we only get better at things we spend a bunch of time on. That’s really all there is to it. If you just approach things on a hit-or-miss basis, you’re going to get results that, well, suck. But if you work on it every day – and you pay attention – you begin to do something magical. You begin to become aware of things. Sometimes happily aware (as in “wow, I never noticed that before”), sometimes painfully aware (as in “oh, shit.”). But the bottom line is that you become aware.
And when you’re aware, you have the knowledge you need to change things. It’s like learning a skill such as archery. If you fire one arrow a week, you’re going to say to yourself, “Damn, I can’t hit that bulls-eye at all.” If you fire seven arrows in a row, you’re going to notice, “Damn, I’m veering to the left.” Now you have something to work with.
The secret, magic formula isn’t secret or magic at all. It’s ridiculously simple.
Do something – anything.
Keep tabs on the results.
Adjust what you’re doing as necessary and go back to step 2.
The problem is, most people do this:
Do something – anything.
Keep ta – oh crap I forgot I have to do this and that and there’s another 5 emails and now the phone is ringing and this person is yelling at me and I’m late with this other thing and man, where did the day go I’m wiped
Feel like crap, and wonder why you can’t get it right.
You see where I’m going with this. The way to overcome a lack of work life balance is to make the time every day/other day/three days/week/whatever to regroup, refine your strategy, and try again. That’s how you improve.
Life Is Going To Explode On You, Messily And Without Mercy
Balance isn’t something you can get by winging it, unless you have a very slow-paced life to begin with. No matter what you have for your goals, life throws urgencies your way. No way to avoid it. The way to survive that is to create an island of time where you can shut away the world and focus on what you can do today to get your life more balanced, and how yesterday’s strategy panned out.
Most people do the “Ready, fire, fire” thing. This is the “aim” part that nobody wants to do because they feel so overwhelmed by the need to fire. Back up. Remind yourself that getting even a tiny bit of extra power in your life gives you a base to build on. You’ve probably heard of the debt snowball (or even the “income snowball“) – this is the balance snowball. No matter how busy you feel, you can find 15 minutes, somewhere, to start making a strategy and working it continuously.
The bottom line is, we lack balance not because we’re too busy, but because we’re not regrouping often enough to handle things actively (rather than reactively). We’re not asking ourselves “What will it take to make things balance the way I want them to?” every single day. We’re not taking a hard look at the results we’re getting every day, and we’re not adjusting our strategy accordingly.
My 7 Day Challenge: Make A Daily Appointment In The War Room
Though I’ve got a good handle on time management (hell, I wrote the book on it, so to speak), I have to admit I haven’t mastered the work-life balance thing yet. Here’s what I’m going to do – and I invite you to do the same. For the next seven days, I’m going to carve out at least 30 minutes a day (I’ll use the morning, since I wake up early) to assess where I lack balance, how I can start turning the tide, and how my strategy works. I’ll share what I’m learning with you.
I actually have a lot of the tools I need … I just haven’t been using them. But for the next 7 days, they’re getting used, and my home office will become my “war room.” Your war room can be anything – an office, your car, even the bathroom (hey, when you have a house full of people, you know that’s the one place you can be alone in).