Balancing Act: Thriving Amidst the Chaos
Strategies for Productivity and Presence in Work and Life
Reflecting on the whirlwind of the past 6 months of my book tour, I've been consistently asked one burning question: "How do you find balance?"
Ah, the elusive pursuit of equilibrium in our lives. I must admit, this question triggers a mix of emotions within me. Building something substantial demands an incredible amount of energy and effort. Whether it's scaling a company, completing a passion project, or nurturing a new life, the concept of balance can often feel elusive.
Recently, while browsing Reddit, I stumbled upon a thought-provoking post by Sahil Bloom. It struck a chord with me and went like this:
20 years from now, the only people who will remember that you worked late are your kids.
Ouch. It’s a poignant reminder that while our society places a high value on work and achievements, the true legacy we leave behind lies in the relationships we build with our children. None of us will ever regret the time we invest in our families—the memories and connections we create bring immeasurable joy. However, Sahil shared another perspective on balance: the importance of letting our loved ones witness our dedication to what matters to us. It instills in them the values of hard work and commitment.
This perspective resonated with me, especially as I see the pride in my two boys' eyes when they talk about the businesses I've built and hear their eagerness to follow in my entrepreneurial footsteps one day. It makes me realize that finding balance isn't about choosing one side over the other; it's about walking the line between the two viewpoints.
As we plunge headfirst into this busy time of year, with school graduations, summer preparations, and travel plans piling up on our already packed schedules, I want to revisit the ever-elusive topic of balance and share some guidance.
Here are my top tips for working towards balance:
Prioritize Self-Care: Nurture yourself with activities that make you feel good. Whether it's exercising, spending quality time with loved ones, pursuing hobbies, or indulging in moments of quiet, understanding how you recharge is key. Personally, I seek a dose of solo time to restore my energy after public appearances and social events.
Set Firm Boundaries: Define your working hours and effectively communicate them to your team, clients, and loved ones. Learn to say "no" when necessary to safeguard your sanity. Living a fulfilling life is a gift, but it's important to know when your cup runneth over! When I’m drowning in emails sometimes I will add a “slow to reply” or “out of office” autoresponder. It allows me to deal with the most pressing matters while giving me a grace period to handle the many other requests.
Delegate and Empower: Let go of Superwoman syndrome. Trust in the abilities of your team members and delegate tasks that don't require your personal touch. Empower those around you to take ownership and revel in your newfound freedom. Remember, micromanaging and guilt have no place in your pursuit of balance.
Embrace Tech and Automation: Utilize technology to save precious time. Schedule your social media posts in advance using platforms like Hootsuite or Sprout Social, opt for Zoom meetings instead of in person and keep a family wide schedule on Google calendar. Just like hiring, investing the time up front to familiarize yourself with these tools will ultimately help you be more efficient in the long run.
Practice Mindfulness: Find your inner Zen amidst the chaos. Cultivate a mindfulness practice that keeps you present and focused. Whether it's through meditation, breathing exercises, or short mindful breaks throughout the day, tune in to the here and now for clarity and purpose. I personally love the app Waking Up by Sam Harris. He releases a 10-minute guided daily meditation that I find to be an easy lift to keep me on track.
Develop a Strong Support System: Create a supportive network comprised of mentors, peers, and like-minded individuals. This can be as simple as setting up a text group chat or as organized as establishing a formal mentorship or becoming part of a professional network (I love my community at the WIE Suite!). Construct your personal advisory board and seek guidance from them whenever you find yourself overwhelmed. Remember, there's no point in building your support system if you don't ever lean on them.
Celebrate Every Step: Don't forget to pat yourself on the back for each win and milestone along the way, no matter how small. Balance isn't a destination—it's a journey. Embrace your progress, learn from the setbacks, and be your own cheerleader through it all.
Balance is found in walking the line between dedication to our commitments and passions, and being present with loved ones, all while being kind to ourselves. It requires practicing self-compassion and setting boundaries that protect our well-being. By doing so, we can confidently navigate the delicate equilibrium of balance in our lives.
How do you find balance in your life?