Picture this: I am seriously struggling with work-life balance. I run a side business that I am trying to make into my eventual full time income. I also juggle a full time career to keep a steady income while growing the business, and I have 2 kids under 10. The problem is, I feel like I am overwhelmed and failing miserably at each thing. I have a lot of guilt, it's like I have no balance. I go to work feeling guilty that I'm not working on the business, I work on the business and feel guilty that I'm not spending time with the kids who are growing up so fast. When I'm finally with the kids, all I can think about is work. No one is winning here! I am spread thin but I want to reach my goals. I guess if I understood how to balance it all better, I could actually have success in all of these areas instead of just one? I don't want to give up my business and I can't give up my job...my kids are suffering. Is there hope for me?
This is an important subject. We are all so busy. We have our jobs, businesses, kids, family, spouses, invitations, sports, after school activities, putting food on the table... the list goes on.
What happens when everything just constantly feels chaotic and you feel like you're not productive in any area, perhaps because you aren't balancing it all right? Achieving a good work life balance is the intent, but how do we actually do it?
I asked an expert on this one, Kendra Davies. Kendra is a life coach and owner of Stellar Life Coaching in Orlando, Florida. With her strong online reviews and areas of expertise, I knew she would be perfect to get in touch with on this topic. She was excited to help.
She definitely delivered! I know you're going to enjoy her take on achieving work life balance so you can be happier and reach your goals.
Take it away, Kendra!
There is hope when it comes to creating a positive work life balance!
First of all I think it’s critical to acknowledge how much is on your plate. It is easy to think that you’re supposed to be able to do all the things all the the time all at once… But the truth is you have a finite pool of energy resources. Because it is finite meaning it WILL run dry there are a few things to do:
#1 Get Clear on What the Goals Are
You have a lot going on. Break them down and make sure to prioritize them appropriately for yourself.
Kids: What is most important to you regarding your kids? Playing games? Having time? Identify 1-3 things that matter most right now on a daily or weekly basis.
Your Full Time Job: When we are starting our own businesses and working on a side hustle it’s common to get senioritis... meaning we start letting our jobs go. We don’t want to go - we show up late, we give less than 100%... but this can have consequences that we are not ready for if we have not adequately prepared to exit our jobs. Maybe you don’t give it 100%... you give it 80%... what are the most important aspects of the job that cannot be compromised? Focus your energy on those things when you are there. Saying “I want this to be my full time gig” is not clear enough. Break down the first 5 steps in making the side hustle the full time gig. Then break those down into smaller bite sized steps that are doable for you right now. Then focus on them one at a time. Side businesses usually stay on the side for a reason. Folks get into them thinking it will be easy or fast... or believing it is be slow and steady, neither of these are usually true. It is work, and it is often work outside of your comfort zone... Break the goals down until they are simple enough that you can do them. Give up the idea that it will be easy. It may be simple, it is rarely easy.
#2 Celebrate your Wins
When we are overwhelmed or exhausted because we have so many demands pulling us in so many different directions it is easy to overlook our wins. This will do more damage to our goals than we think. Celebration and acknowledgment of the work that is done and completed helps replenish our pool of resources. Creating more energy hope and optimism to continue pursuing the goals.
#3 Let it be Enough
You are one woman- albeit a magnificent powerful being - you are still just one woman. When you know you are doing your best let it be enough. Some days you’ll need to just be grateful you got a bra on and got out of the house. Other days you will cash checks and pay off debt, AND mom so hard you’ll be jealous of yourself. Let yourself be where you are. Guilt and shame are parental burdens... sometimes guilt is helpful to identify the areas you need to focus on... and other times they are mostly useless... you are enough. What you have to give on any given day is enough. How do I know? Because that is what is. You will not be 100% all the time. Accept it. Let it be enough.
#4 Replenish your Energy
Self-care is critical. No amount of pushing through will replenish your energy. Take the time to care for you. What gives you energy? Meditation? Journaling? Exercising? Date nights? Say yes to them. Prioritize them. When you have learned how to keep your energy resources up, you will find that the hustle and grind of the life you are working to build will not wear you down the same it does now.
At the end of the day...
I think being able to connect to your “why” is important. When it gets hard, and it will get hard, knowing why you are doing what you are doing is critical. Is it financial freedom? Is leaving a legacy for your children? Is it to end homelessness? Cure cancer? List your most meaningful and purpose driven why’s and keep them in a place you can see them frequently.
Stay connected to your why... when you sit down to do your regular job, side hustle or play with your kids know exactly why you are doing it. Your why’s are the embers that keep the passion flames burning. Even when you don’t feel like it, even when you don’t want to, your why is the connection to the broader picture - the MEANING behind what you are doing.
More About Kendra Davies
Kendra started Stellar Life Coaching in 2013 with the mission to transform how we live love and do business using the transformative science of Positive Psychology. She is a professional certified coach with 13 years of experience in HR and training and development. Her professional contributions have been published on Monster.com, NYDailyNews.com, and Central Florida Lifestyle magazine. She is a Founding Fellow of the Institute of Coaching Professional Association at McLean Hospital, a Harvard Medical School affiliate. Kendra is committed to empowering her clients to live their best most authentic lives.
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