Work-life balance is a phrase that I use every day, but I rarely share my definition. It is the backbone of my business, helping parents create a balance that works for them. Work-life balance is something people aspire to; they chase it, often believing that is something they can only achieve with the ideal role, or more money, or the progression of time with its shifting responsibilities. They often don’t see that they can create it within the life they are currently living.
The issue is in the definition. Somewhere, the idea has seeped into our consciousness that balance means 50:50. People picture weighing scales, with “work” on one side and then “life” on the other. Equal and never changing.
This is where the problem lies. People seem to believe that there is only one, overarching definition of what work-life balance is. They rarely consider what it means to them.
For me, I live by the idea of work-life balance as an ever-changing and evolving thing. I often quote Albert Einstein “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep balance, you must keep moving.”Albert Einstein “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep balance, you must keep moving”. Click To Tweet
The realities of life as a working parent are very much like riding a bike. The micro-adjustments we make as a cyclist, on the pedals, on our posture, on our direction and our speed, keep us balanced and moving forward. However, if we don’t know where we are going, what the destination is, the movement can feel frustrating, exhausting and never ended. Totally pointless!
Life is like that; changing priorities, shifts in what we need and when we need it, means we have to make those micro adjustments to keep us on track. We need to know why we are taking action, where we want to end up. We need to be prepared to change our route if obstacles come in our way. We need to be aware that if we expect things to remain the same – we are likely to fall over!
Consider how your life is at the moment.
Do you feel like you are moving all the time but it’s pointless and exhausting?
That is the issue, you need a map for your metaphorical bike!
Maybe you don’t like Mr Einstein’s inspiration? If not, then do any of these ring true?
“Balance is not something you find, it’s something you create” Jana Kingsford”
“So find your rhythm, understand what makes you resentful, and protect it. You can’t have everything you want, but you can have the things that really matter to you. And thinking that way empowers you to work really hard for a really long period of time.” Marissa Mayer,”
“It’s worth making time to find the things that really stir your soul. That’s what makes you really feel alive. You have to say ‘no’ to other things you’re used to, and do it with all your heart.” Roy T. Bennett”
“The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of sixty minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.” C.S. Lewis”
Take a few moments to answer these questions.
How do you know that your work-life balance is an issue?
What do you want to do, or be, or have, that you struggle to do, be or have right now?
Use that insight to create your personal work-life balance definition. What it means to you. Use that to create your map – to find the route you need to take to make it happen.
What will be your first step? Now take it!
Want to join other parents, creating a work-life balance that works for them? Join The Balance Collective with Clara Wilcox
Want to work with me on creating the work-life balance that works for you? Check out my coaching and mentoring packages.
Be guided through the creation of your ideal work-life balance map on 7th November with my Work-Life Balance: Self Care Matters workshop in Sutton Coldfield