Let’s talk myths. You probably believe in a myth called “work-life balance” that’s being pushed by all the hipster blogs out there. It’s probably one of those things that you reach for, constantly, and always wish for it to happen. Instead, you end up frustrated. Well, let’s end the frustration. First by acknowledging the myth as portrayed, then by designing your own reality.
In the myth everything works. You have a peaceful work life, you go home to your perfect, peaceful life that’s #nofilter ready, but you still put the sepia or blurred edges on for that retro feel. You even have time to go for blissful, life-enhancing events to make your friends jealous of.
In reality you aren’t happy with your job all the days. Your home life isn’t perfect, and sometimes you have to choose between doing laundry for clean socks or cooking a healthy meal. You definitely shove the clutter around for the pictures, and remember to drag a brush through your hair before the snapshot is taken. And free time? Um… yeah.
Let’s cut the fat, shall we? Work life balance is actually about sacrifices and priorities. It’s about knowing yourself, what you want, and making choices to get there. It’s about sacrificing some things, but sticking with others.
That might mean while you’re happily plugging away in some ground breaking research, you’re going to need a strong, independent partner at home holding down that front. Or, if you want to spend more time with family or hobbies, you need to be willing to focus on what’s important at work instead of doing ALL THE THINGS.
Easier said than done?
Damned straight it is. That’s why it’s called sacrificing.
The key is to say NO to things you don’t want and give you no value with no regrets. To get there, you have to know what you want, what kind of sacrifices go with it, and how much you’re willing to sacrifice.
Let’s talk goals. Do you know what you actually want from life? What do you want in these areas of your life:
- Personal Growth
The more depth you go into, the better results you’ll get.
The rest as easy as choosing.
When you have a clear result in your head, you can make a decision easier. Want to lose weight? Choose to eat healthier most of the time. Want to create a lifestyle where it’s laid back? Choose things that help you feel that way. Want a family with a few kids? Don’t avoid the dating scene until you find love.
This is when you get to say yes. Say yes to things that get you closer to your goals. And if your goals change (as they should as you experience more of life), change where you say yes and no.
Don’t be afraid to make the most of your time and life with intention. It’s yours to live, and it should be your choices.
When you choose the balance that you want, you can plan your life to fit your dreams. That is real work-life balance.