Having balance in one’s life and work is not about spending equal measures of time for all the areas of your life. That has never been a possibility for most people. For those of us who have to work, there will probably always be more time spent in earning a living than in the other areas of life. Creating balance is about finding ways to fit quality time in--not equal time-- for the various parts of our lives. It’s even about being in a place of balance while at work.
In the U.S. it's easy for people to become consumed by working so many hours per week that they become too tired to spend quality time with loved ones or quality time for themselves--reading for pleasure, taking a walk, or going to a movie. In the past, I have been one of those people and have learned some needlessly hard lessons in either getting sick or multi-tasking myself into overwhelm. I love to work because I love my work. But I also love and need to play and relax.
When was the last time you played cards, a board game, worked a puzzle or danced? When was the last time you laughed till you cried? When was the last time you took a whole day off to just do the things that refresh your mind, body or spirit (or all of the above)? When was the last time you looked back on your day and saw with wonder what an amazing, joyful day it was?
I don’t think there are many people who on their deathbeds say to themselves or others, “Gosh, I wish I could have worked one more day.” Instead, many people wish they had expressed more love to others, laughed and smiled more, or enriched more moments with the awareness of joy.
Life is short. It's true. Look to create joy and balance in the fleeting moments of each day.
Mary Claire O’Neal has been a communication consultant and speaker for 20 years. She is also a certified lie-change coach and author of the award-winning book, Becoming What You Want to See in the World.