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Redefining Work-Life Balance

balance boundaries Feb 03, 2022
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Is it real? Is it a myth? What does it even mean?

As a busy mom, military wife, agency owner and business consultant, I have been chasing the elusive state of “work-life balance” for over a decade. For a while, I didn’t believe it existed. I became obsessed with figuring out if it was possible to achieve great success, happiness, fulfilment and wellness in every area of your life–not in one at the expense of another. 

I asked a few successful business owners to define how they experience “work-life balance.” Here’s what they had to say:


 

Work-life” balance is a misnomer in my book. The term suggests that work and life are opposing forces when they aren’t. Life encompasses family relationships, social relationships, work, hobbies, health, finances, spirituality, etc. So, I like to reframe the concept to be “life balance” — and take it a step further; life balance isn’t about doing things for an equal amount of time. It’s about doing the right things at the right time.

When I started my business in February 2021, it was on the side of my full-time job. I worked on Hackman Creative in the evenings and weekends. It was important to me to get my business off the ground, so I could take it full time, so life looked one way, and after taking my business full-time in July 2021, my life balance looks different. Life balance is relative to individuals and the season they are in.”

Sarah Hackman

Brand Designer and owner of Hackman Creative

https://www.sarahjhackman.com 


 

“As a single parent & business owner, I have to be very intentional with my time. I don't know about work-life balance — but I can be in control of how I spend my time.

I've learned to delegate whatever I can in my home life in order to prioritize my family & my work. I carpool instead of always driving my kids to activities. I put personal & family time on the calendar, and I pay for help. I have groceries & meals delivered, get a regular housekeeper, and recently I've even been experimenting with getting an online clothing stylist to help update my wardrobe. I think of paying for help as a lever I can use to keep a sense of balance and free up my most valuable asset (time).”

Lindsay Carlson

Marketing Coach

https://www.linkedin.com/in/lindsayc/


 

“Work-life balance is a broken concept. It doesn't work because it's an oversimplification. Life and work aren't on or off. It's about setting boundaries that support your goals for doing your best work and living a life you enjoy.

Especially for leaders: Inspiration, motivation, and having empathy for your team doesn't fit into a 9-5 box. Brains are fickle, and they do what they want!

Examples of work boundaries:

  • I don't answer emails on the weekend.
  • My friend turns his phone off 6 pm-8 am, so he doesn't check email or socials around his kids.
  • Not scheduling calls before 10 am, so I can drink coffee and think slowly.
  • Be where you are. Don't multitask in meetings or during focus times.
  • Don't check email before Noon.
  • Respond to all emails within one 1-business day.
  • Don’t take on projects where I don't :100: believe I can 10x the results.”

Josh Brammer

Owner of Lantern Marketing 

https://hellolantern.com/ 


 

“I think the most important doorway to work-life balance is getting clear on your big-picture priorities. I've heard it said that "peace of mind at any given moment comes from being totally confident that you're doing exactly what you're supposed to be doing." What are the most important things in your life (like, in no particular order, your family, your business, your self-development, your spirituality, your fun, your health, your hobbies, etc.), and where does each one fit on the list? Being really clear on the order of your priorities - even having a physical list pasted up somewhere and reviewing it every so often - helps you navigate those everyday how-should-I-spend-the-next-hour or should-I-take-this-on decisions, so you end up feeling like you've lived the day more "in balance"/in line with how you want your life to look.”

Miriam Nowosiolski

Freelance Copywriter


Why does work-life balance feel so unattainable?

Maybe it’s the fact that we put work and life against each other when we say work-life balance? Or, we assume balance should mean equal time in each area of our life. Regardless, it’s clear that prioritizing what’s important, shedding what isn’t, and setting boundaries in our lives to help us remember what’s important is crucial in experiencing any form of balance or fulfilment. 

Generations have been conditioned to see hard work, productivity and being busy to reflect our worth in society. When we place achievement, status, and output higher on our priority list than fulfilment, enjoyment and wellbeing, we are destined for burnout. Balance will look different for each individual, but a simple litmus test can be your ability to remain present, lighthearted and feel a general sense of fulfilment in your life. Here’s to redefining and experiencing balance on your terms!

Mickey

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