Your life is not a balancing act
I often get asked how I balance two businesses, my home, and all the things, and still have a life. To tell the truth, it's not about balance, because balance means everything is equal. But that is not how it works. So today, I want to talk to you a little bit about what balance should look like since your life is not a balancing act.
What I like to think about is that it's not a balancing act, it's more a juggling act. You're going to have many balls up in the air, some are going to fall, some you will put down and others you will pick up. Some balls will move slowly and others will move twice as fast. It's going to go back and forth, and others will stay in one hand. So saying that your life is not a balancing act, but more of a juggling act just means that you need to determine what is most important to you.
Your life is not a balancing act, it's determining what is most important to you
I was listening to "Deep Work" by Cal Newport and he was talking about the top couple of things that are important to you. Now it's not 85 things, because that's what you do as a woman. You think about 85 different things that we need to do to be the mom, the wife, the worker or the business owner, or whatever it is that you're doing.
Four things that are important to me
So I came up with four things that are important to me. These four things are my mission-critical things. These aren't in any particular order.
- Serving my customers. This is incredibly important to me
- Bringing in a new customer. So I can keep the business going and growing
- Building memories with my family. Going to the beach, the park, swimming in the pool, having dinner together, reading and snuggling on Saturday morning, and all the things that exude love.
- Becoming the person I want to be.
What is going to get you closer to what's important to you?
As you think about the four things that are important to you, and you work and juggling all the things you need to do. Think about what things will get you closer to what's most important to you. So when you have to decide between two different actions, which one is going to be the one that brings you closer to those four things. And if you have to eliminate things, run them through those four things.
For example, say you're having a really busy night. And you're trying to decide if you are going to pick up food somewhere or if you're going to make dinner. Say your child needs some attention and wants to play a game with you. So you need to decide if you're going to spend an hour in the kitchen, or if you're going to pick something up or make something quick. Or you can pull something out of the freezer and throw it in the oven. Spending more time with your kid will help with building memories as a family.
Your life is not a balancing act. Acknowledge what's important.
Very often you aren't willing to acknowledge what those important things are for you and you're not willing to trade-off. And what happens is because you're not willing to make the conscious decision, you are making a decision. And so when you chose to be anal about how clean your bathroom or house is, instead of spending time with your family. You are deciding on what's important to you.
So when you put things through the lens of what's important to you, then it's easy to know which balls you will be juggling. You get to decide what you are going to do with each ball. Are you going to add it to the ones you already have? Or are you going to put it down? Figure out what you need to let go of to make something happen.
Your life is not a balancing act, but you do have a mission in life
Take a moment and write down three of four things that are important to your mission in life. Maybe you feel like you don't have a mission. You're a wife and a mom, and a business owner.
That is what I am, and my mission is to be a better me. Building memories with my family makes me a better wife and mom. And serving my customers or getting new customers makes me a better businesswoman. There you go. Better me, better wife and mom, better businesswoman Those are my three things and that's my mission. Because this is what's important to me.
So I'd love you to think about what's important for you. What are those things? Now, you're going to want to make a list of like 700 things. And I thought that my faith is really important to me. I want to be a better follower. But I didn't put that down, because becoming a better person, becoming the person I want to be, includes my spiritual journey. My health journey is in there.
What to do when you have conflicting things
What happens when I have to choose between serving my customers and building memories with my family? Typically when I'm in that position, I'll see if there is a way that I can do both. What else can I put down so that I can reschedule?
Typically, I'm not spending all day serving my customers and building memories with my family. Those aren't the only two things going on. There's laundry and dishes and admin stuff. And working with my team, getting groceries, meal planning, showering, exercising, and all these things.
For instance, I know I spend way too much time on my phone. And I'm trying to get better at that. But I know if I spent less time on my phone, I'd have more time to serve my customers and more time to build memories with my family.
Look through the lens of what's important to you
So you need to look at all the 900 other things that you're doing and see what else you might be able to trim. Look through the lens of what's important to you to figure out how you can eliminate more of the trivial stuff so that you can focus on the four things that are really okay. For me, that means looking at my task list and my calendar, and really zeroing in on where I'm spending my time. And being conscious of what I say yes to.
I'd love to know what your four things are. If you're in the Small Biz Mama community on Facebook or if you're in Bookkeeper Training School and the Empower Bookkeeper Network, share with us your three or four things are.
It doesn't have to be four things, it could be two. But don't do more than four. This means that you're going to have to think about what are the most important things. Don't get very particular though.
To whittle down your list, keep asking why is this important to me. For example, why is laundry important? Because my family is important. Why is family important? Because I want them to feel loved. And I want to feel loved. So maybe that's what's important to you. It's giving and receiving love.
I want to encourage you to stop striving for balance. And measure everything that you do against those items that are most important to you.