When I think of the word balance, the image of a classic scale immediately comes to mind. Where one side tilts, then the other, until finally it lands somewhere in the middle. Balance. In order for the classic scale to reach balance, there must be equal portions on either side, right? So if we take the concept of Work-Life Balance, we are looking at achieving just the right proportion of work against the right proportion of life. But how achievable is that? I can share with you, that in all my years of working, being a mom and wife, and exploring my own life journey, I have yet to find right proportion to balance it all out. It always seems like a never ending competition. And that leaves me feeling exhausted, frustrated and never satisfied.
Introducing “Harmony”. If we look at harmony in a musical sense, you see that each of the individual parts all have different sounds, pitches, volumes and frequencies. But, when put together at the same time, they create the most beautiful sound. Isn’t that what you want in your life? To have all the parts play out in such a way that things work together to create the beautiful song that is your life. ? And let’s be clear about something, it is your life. It will look different than someone else’s. What you tune into (more or less of), is what makes things work for you. So how do you find your way to work-life harmony?
- Loose the judgement – Work-life harmony means switching from work mode to personal mode to health mode to family mode without resistance, without guilt and without judgement. If a singer judged every note they sang, rather than focusing on the process and improvement of what they are doing, we wouldn’t have the masterpieces that we have today. Lose the judgement.
- Let the scale tip if it must – the never ending search for nirvana in work-life balance, needs to stop. Work should not compete with life. They happen simultaneously. In fact, they are one in the same. Start working on creating a mental shift so that you focus less on weighing one against the other, and more on making everything flow with the intensity and frequency that it needs in every moment.
- Tune into the bigger picture We all know we need specific goals, but often we lose sight of the bigger picture – our why. Find ways throughout the day to tune into your why. Remind yourself what is important to you. You are not only a member of the choir, you are the conductor., which means you are not only listening to the individual parts, but focusing on how to bring it all together to create the final outcome you want.
- Be present – Part of achieving harmony means that you must be present in everything you do. When you are working with a client – be there. When you are having a family dinner – be there. Be conscious about what you are doing and choosing. Make sure that where you are spending your time is aligned with your bigger picture. If you are going to take some personal time and hit the gym or the walking trails, feel good about it! Likewise, if you are going to be late for family dinner tonight because you have a big listing presentation to get ready for, then feel good about the work you are doing too!
- Build your choir- Most of us lump everything we do into 2 parts. Work stuff and personal stuff. Humans are just way too complex for only two parts and a good choir needs to have many parts so that the different sounds can blend together. Building your choir means identifying which parts are important to you, and honouring the role each of those parts play. For me, health, wellness, relationships, fulfillment and purpose are the leading parts of my choir. Knowing that makes it easy for me to identify where I want to spend my time and efforts, and it ensures that when I’m engaged and fully present in what I’m doing, that I feel good rather than feel guilt.
What do you do to achieve harmony in your life?