We aren’t clowns so we don't have to live in a circus. Yes, our lives will always be busy (why do we always default to that description of our lives?), but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a sense of balance and normalcy to our lives.
In my opinion, getting your priorities in order helps balance out the scales of life and while creating routines allow you to function when life gets extra "busy". When you actually prioritize your commitments and items on your to-do lists, balance beings to become a reality. Balance doesn’t have to mean everything gets an equal amount of your time, but that those things most important to you get the most of you. Or better yet, you get to spend most of your time doing what you love.
I imagine some of you are thinking “AllieDanae, that’s great and all because you’re single and work on your own time, but that doesn’t really work when you’re married with kids.” I’ll admit that I don’t know what life will look like for me when that time comes, but I lived with a Mom who ran a successful business, volunteered at our sporting events and our church, was an amazing wife and mom, and still found time to read lots of books and crochet blankets. I’ll admit, she stayed up late and got up early, but she knew what she wanted out of life and didn’t waste her time on much else. (pro tip: watch out for the time wasters!)
Balance is a tricky word in more ways than one. Let’s think of it like a weighted scale that balances out at 24 hours. Not one thing can get your whole 24 hours because it will be one-sided, and only 2 things can be split evenly in 12 hour periods, but again, that’s not realistic. So figure out what gets the most of your time currently and decide if that’s what you want to get most of your hours. We all for the most part have to work and make money and this isn’t a post about working smarter not harder or promoting passive income. I really want you to determine how the hours in your day are being spent and decide if you’re OK with that. Go on and use the new iPhone update to also tell you how much time you’re spending on your phone/social media, because in reality, even as a Social Media Manager, I could be spending a lot less time on my phone.
Not having internet at my house has drastically helped me leave work at work; but, even if you work at home and not an office, you can create office hours for yourself and shut it off when it’s time to “clock out”. In July and August I ran a lot more than I have all year and I read 20 books in August. Yep. 20. I still got together with friends and family, and traveled, but I decided work wasn’t going to be my life 24/7. I also knew busy season was coming with Black Friday / Cyber Monday / Giving Tuesday and those days meant lots of prep work with my clients on top of taking time off for the holidays. Things are busy right now, but I know that when I’m on the clock, I’m working harder and smarter so I can clock out when I want to - whether that’s noon or 8p.
Choosing life over business
My priorities have shifted thanks to life happenings and my Powersheets*. I used to think I needed to work around the clock to get every client but I don’t really like be managed by my email / slack / Trello notifications. There are definitely times when work comes first because I love what I do and I want it to be successful, but that’s not who I want to be 24/7. So here’s how I’ve shifted and created more work-life balance in this #entrepreurlife (emphasis on life and really my people).
Working during work hours only (9-5/6p) and using 1-2 hours to work on my business (what I call my Daily Business Hour). This allows me to really enjoy my weekends too!
Getting involved in local groups (Church, Junior League, Tuesday’s Together, Taco Night and it seems my Taco crew wants to put together a bowling team).
Experiences over possessions. My family may laugh at this because of all the stuff I moved from ATL to SC, but I haven’t really done lots of shopping this year because I realized that I like traveling and doing things with friends/family over buying that $30 sweater or multiple trips to Starbucks (hey! Now that I know I can pack for a few days in a large tote, I’m excited to fly Frontier more in 2019!!)
Exercising more. This one is typically the first to go when I get stressed, but honestly, it (along with spending time reading my Bible) is one of the things I need most when my schedule is out of whack.
Giving myself grace when my priorities get mixed up. Sometimes I take the mornings slower and arrive at the office later because I need to get my time with my Bible in first. That’s one reason I love being an entrepreneur because I can control my schedule, but there’s the key - I control it, it doesn’t control me.
So what are your priorities? How can you adjust your time to fit them and finally create that balance you crave?