There’s this thing that people have been chasing for a whole generation, but no one has been able to catch it. I’m not talking about money, fame, or success. I am referring to this super-elusive status that you’ve probably talked about or heard about all of your grown-up professional life. It has been held up in so many circles as the ultimate goal. That thing is “work-life balance.”
I use quotation marks because if I’m being honest — and if you’ve listened to my chat with Keven on Better Together, you know I believe in bringing the truth, no matter how unpopular it is — balance is bogus.
It sounds nice in theory, but as I watch so many well-meaning people strive for it, I see how it actually creates more stress, anxiety, and mess. It’s a setup for perfectionism and disappointment. When you try to juggle it all, something is bound to fall.
In my crazy-hectic schedule of being CEO, wife, mom, TV star, just all the things, I’ve had to use a different strategy to achieve peace, purpose, and prosperity that I want to share. It sounds counterintuitive, but trust me, it works.
You can actually get more out of life by doing less. This isn’t a permission slip to slack, but it is a call to be more strategic in your personal and professional life.
Set and communicate boundaries
When I’m at the office, I am committed to focusing my attention on work. My family knows what counts as an emergency, and they know what can wait because I’ve communicated these boundaries with them. When I’m at home, and we’re having dinner as a family, there’s no scrolling at the table or late-night calls from my team. I’m sitting there listening 100% to the kiddos tell me about their day. A lot of times, when we set boundaries, we keep them to ourselves and get upset when lines are crossed. It is critical that you actually discuss them with the people who matter most so that they can work with you and not against you.
Schedule a time-out
I am a big believer in taking self-care sabbaticals, where I can relax, refresh and rejuvenate. Self-care is such a popular topic these days but remember a ‘time-out’ doesn’t have to be expensive or luxurious every time. Keep it simple and make it a routine. Carve out time and space for a fifteen-minute walk on Fridays, journal every morning, or take a quick nap between meetings.
Simple, everyday self-care practices like these are what help you avoid burnout long-term. When you know you have a break to look forward to, it makes working towards it that much better.
Say no, even to the “good” stuff
This is a huge one that sounds simple, but I know it’s hard to do, especially when the opportunity seems like a good one. When you say yes and don’t really mean it, or you don’t truly have the capacity, it automatically creates extra tension in your mind, body, and spirit. Your mouth says yes, but everything else is saying no — pay attention to that. Part of being a person of integrity is being honest with your yes. As long as you give a yes to any and everything, you don’t allow space for the things you actually want to do. You won’t have energy for those passion projects that could really make a difference in your life and the lives of others.
We all have very limited time and energy to devote to family, work, and ourselves. Don’t get caught up in the hustle-and-bustle culture by thinking there is some magic formula for everything to align perfectly. By being selective and strategic about what you do, you’re able to embrace the imbalance and get the most out of life.
Listen to our full 2-part interview with Nicole here: