The Truth About Work-Life Balance

One of the most overused phrases out right now (more overused than "stay woke") is work-life balance.

It's often thrown around by employers trying their best to attract new talent.

Look, I get it.

These days people care about flexibility and balance as much as, if not more than they care about pay.

We love life as much as we love work.

But this so-called ‘balance’ cited by many recruiters and managers as a way to seduce job seekers and even written into many benefits policies at companies all across the country, is mostly just a game of smoke and mirrors.

It's not real, y'all.

Few people know what it means to truly have work-life balance and even fewer can actually say they get to experience this phenomenon in all its glory.

The key to work-life balance is this: You've got to realize that it’s less of a balancing act and more of an exercise in integration.

97% of us have a job, which means that 97% of us will spend about 1/3 of our lives at work. With proportions like this, there may never be an opportunity to balance every single piece of our lives perfectly.

Yes, flexible work arrangements and telecommuting options definitely help, but instead of focusing on number of hours clocked, you should be focusing on creating a balanced mindset – better yet a lifestyle – that allows you to thrive both inside and outside the cubicle.

Click to Tweet:

"Balance isn't about focusing on the hours you work, it's about focusing on creating a lifestyle where you thrive inside and outside the cubicle."

So, how can you do it? How can you experience real balance that allows you to kill it at work and in life?

Here are 4 tips to help you achieve more work-life balance instantly.

Prioritize what’s important to you outside of work

Take a long, honest look at what you truly value in life. Is it focusing on health and wellness? Volunteering in your community? Experiencing quiet and uninterrupted alone time? Make a list of all the things you want to experience in your life on a normal basis and rank them in order of priority. Go deeper than just saying – I want to spend more time with my family. Really think about what that actually means for you. Do you want x amount of date nights with your partner every month? Do you want to chaperone the next field trip at your child’s school? Get really specific.

Carve out time for what’s important

Once you’ve identified what you want to focus on in life, you've got to make time in your schedule to actually do these things. If your idea of balance means taking more vacations, then pull out your calendar and block off the days you'll take your next trip. If you want to begin meditating, then set your alarm 30 minutes earlier, go to bed later, or use some time during your lunch break. We all find the time to do the things that are important to us and now that you’ve identified your life priorities, you have to ensure you make time to experience them.

Commit to not making sacrifices

Once you’ve made the time in your schedule to spend on the things you value outside of work, protect this time at all costs! It's not OK to push your scheduled gym time to the side so that you can pull an all-nighter at work. It's not OK to miss your niece’s dance recital because you want to proof read your presentation a couple more times before you submit it. Of course, unexpected things come up sometimes and we have to be flexible, but when you're missing more appointments than you're keeping, work and life are not in balance.

Be present

This is the most important tip of all. When you’re at work – be sure you're 100% focused on what you’re doing there. Don’t surf the Internet or lurk on Instagram when you’re supposed to be paying attention in a meeting or completing a project. Focus on the task in front of you and commit to being productive.

This will make it easier for you to do the second part of this tip, which is – when you’re off, be off. Don’t constantly check your work emails or log on from home just to “fix one small thing”. It’s important that you're present in whatever you’re focusing your energy on at the given moment.

Making a living is typically the priority for most of us, but I challenge you to make living the priority. By the time most people get to retirement age, I guarantee they're not wishing they had spent more time in the office and less time doing things they truly loved.

Be deliberate about prioritizing the things that are important to you. You'll be much happier in the end.

The topic of work-life balance is truly important to me and something I love to teach women about. If you'd be interested in a free video workshop on how to achieve work-life balance for yourself, join the VIP list by clicking here.

Why You Haven't Found Your Perfect Career Yet (And What To Do About It)

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So, you want to know why you haven't found your absolutely, positively, PERFECT dream career, right? Well, the answer is actually quite simple.

It's because it doesn't exist... yet.

Ask anyone who's got the "perfect"job and they'll tell you 3 main things:

  1. They didn't find their perfect job, they created it
  2. No career is truly perfect, so there will always be good days and bad
  3. It doesn't happen overnight

I think it's important to note these things because a lot of us are out here searching far and wide hoping to finally find that magical career that we keep hearing about.  

You network til' you're blue in the face, apply to dozens and dozens of jobs and even try to make the best of where you currently are, but for some reason it always seems that what you're truly after - that perfect career - is always escaping your grasp.

Instead of giving up all hope that you'll ever be one of the "lucky" ones who get to enjoy what they do for work, I challenge you to just start looking at things from a totally new perspective.

Check out 3 tips you can start using right away to help you move closer to your ultimate goal.

Get clear on what you're really after 

When you think of your ideal career, what about it makes it so enticing.  Is it the pay, the hours, the people, the projects, all of the above?  Take some time to map out exactly what you want. You need to be specific here, because this is the only way you'll know what you're looking for and be able to assess when you've actually gotten there.

Figure out what it'll take for you to get from here to there  

OK, so now that you know what you want to do, it's time to research what you need to get there.  Do you need to get some sort of certification, expand your network, or move to another state (or country)?  You catch my drift, right?  Take this from some abstract idea to a well thought out process map.

Talk to someone who's already done it

Do your research and find people who have already succeeded at creating the ideal career for themselves.  Many of these people are just waiting to tell their stories to anyone who will listen. It's super important to surround yourself with people who are of the same mindset you are. This is how you will take your thinking to the next level.

Want to get started mapping out your ideal career right now and take the first step to switching into your ideal career? Click here to check out the Career Changers coaching program where you'll get the tools, strategies and accountability you need to reach your career goals.