There are plenty of examples regarding bringing balance into one’s approach to life, especially from those in the creative fields. Following are some strategic and practical tips, as well.
Balance begins with a look at the defining external characteristic of our selves — our chosen work. Your work life distinguishes your schedule, your weekly mindset, and your way of being in the world.
So regardless of whether it really defines who you are at your core, you can still determine how to maneuver within and around and through it to bring balance into your life.
Let’s face it — our lives would be structured differently if we were independently wealthy. Many of us would still be working in the same way at work (not jobs) we love, which pull us forward with fascination, momentum, and a sense of contribution. Others would ditch what they are doing and completely restructure a life of luxury and indulgence and lack of duty or purpose of any kind.
To each his or her own. What is significant is how one would approach life without the constraint of having to earn money. Think about it. After some indulgence, you probably would gravitate to some regular ebb and flow that feeds your soul and sense of presence in the world. Use that philosophy to approach your current life.
Look at your day. Create some pocket of time — earliest morning, tail end of lunch, between dinner and bedtime — that you think about, work on or relax into something that you love and that you have not had the time to address. There are endless possibilities. Trying a new way to exercise or a new hobby; training your pet; or just doing nothing for 15 minutes to see how it makes you feel are just a few.
Keep looking at your day. Have you tried delineating pockets of time where you address emails and followup calls, and then scheduling complete opposite times where you quit those programs on your device and in your mind, so that you can focus on “content” matter of work? Have you allowed for recharge moments that are totally private, where not even your child can ask something of you? Have you pushed yourself during one phase of the day and pulled back in another, for a sense of reflection and accomplishment?
What about your week? Create and meaningfully plan time for at least a quarter-day where you have full relaxation to do nothing or to explore the back corners of your mind.
Weekends can get so busy, with house and yard work and active attempts at fun. Have you sequestered off at least three hours for yourself? Have you gone to yoga or the gym? Taken the dog on one of those really long walks? Spoken to the new colleague a couple aisles over? Gotten to know what is on your employees’ minds that week? Jumped into the woodworking project that so relaxes you? Asked your kid if he really wants to learn the cello, or is something else driving him?
You had better build that time in or the opportunities will pass you by. If you can’t get balance in a day, that is what the cycle of a week is for.
Here is the second article of this two-part series, dealing with monthly and seasonal balance.
Image courtesy of the author.