Do you wish you had more time to achieve goals and even more time to enjoy life? How many times have you caught yourself saying there isn’t enough time in the day? You’re certainly not alone.
Earlier this year I completed a 360 feedback and asked clients, family, friends and peers to share anonymous insights about how they see me. One comment stood out to me: “she works too hard.”
Like you, I wear all the hats-mom, business owner, collaborator, and confidante. Recently I added breast cancer survivor to the list. As a business owner, it’s hard to turn it off. I’m either in the middle of client work or building the business. The payoff comes not just in the P&L statement, but also in the control of my schedule to spend quality time with my son.
We have unfortunately we’ve all been programmed to chase balance. And it’s the chasing that has us exhausted. Some people seem to get more done than others but we all have the same amount of time in the day-84,600 seconds. It’s easy to compare yourself to that person and wonder “why can’t I get it all done?”
First let me tell you this-we’re not supposed to get it all done.
It can seem like life has two choices: achieving goals or enjoying life. Do we focus only on work, or do we ditch responsibility for play? I don’t think it has to be either/or.
Forget balance. A few years ago, I attended a keynote session by Dan Thurmon that changed my thinking about “work-life balance”. His message was simple: be off-balance, but on purpose.
Accept that you’ll always be off-balance because you can’t give equal attention to everything. Instead focus on being purposeful about where you put your energy.
Find Alignment. As I’ve evolved, I’ve realized that I do better when I’m in flow. When my actions are tied back to my vision. When I can see a connection between what I’m doing and where I’m heading. Being intentional and seeking alignment in my goals and efforts is what has taken me to my next level.
If you’re looking for ways to find alignment, start here:
- Reduce your energy drains: Make a list of those tasks (or people) that suck the energy out of you. Explore ways to reduce them. (I outsource those tasks to free my time while supporting another woman owned business.)
- Focus on what lights you up. Some things will energize you more than others. Look for ways to add more of them to your plate. When we are doing things that feed our passion, it gives us energy-no matter how long it takes.
- Skip the negativity. It’s said that 70% of our thoughts are negative self-talk. Your inner critic Negative Nelly is meaner than anyone else. Quiet her down with affirmations and reminders of all your wins. Stop comparing yourself to everyone else and focus on your strengths.
You don’t need a super-power and you don’t need to add anything else to your plate to be aligned. Being intentional means slowing things down, being present and more selective. You’ll have bigger wins and create space for more of what you love.