As a businesswoman, entrepreneur, and mom, I’m here to tell you something that may come as a shock: I can’t find a work-life balance—because it doesn’t exist.
If you’re like other busy moms, in moments of desperation you may have googled “work-family balance,” “how to prioritize,” or “advice for working women wanting it all.” There are certainly a lot of articles out there giving advice on these topics, but the problem is, it’s all “click bait.” With my hectic schedule, I know for a fact that balance is a myth that is fed to women, leading them to believe that constantly being in over their heads should be rewarding, pleasurable, and even fun.
Well, it isn’t.
Let me begin by saying that I’m insanely busy right now and there is no letup in sight. I’m hard at work with Garnysh, my Silicon Valley-based fitness and technology company that is in transition to shifting its entire focus from food tracking to fitness tracking and motivation to support fitness goals to get long-term results. Not only am I knee-deep in the process of turning this dream into a reality, but I’m also inundated with side projects as well as a mother of two budding actors with career goals of their own.
If I find time to do CrossFit, meditate, go on playdates, and relax with my husband, will I have achieved balance? No. What do I focus on instead? Diving in headfirst, doing my best, and embracing the feeling of living full-throttle. It’s not always easy—in fact, it never is—but the only way to climb a mountain is to just keep going.
Simplicity—the only thing that helps
Even though living full-throttle seems like an impossible task, in truth, there is a way to make the impossible possible, and that’s to simplify. If you can eliminate any tasks or commitments from your regular schedule that aren’t essential, then do so. But sometimes in the real world, even doing that is not realistic.
What you can do—and I try to focus on this as much as possible—is to simplify the steps that get you through the day. Everyone has a different method for making this possible, but for you it might be simplifying your family’s meals, organizing your home and eliminating anything nonessential, capsulizing your wardrobe and makeup, or something that works the absolute best: outsourcing. Quite simply, pay others to do it.
I want to chill out
Why do we try to find balance in the first place? Because we all want time to rest, chill out, and decompress. Sure, we want to achieve our financial and fitness goals, we want successful, healthy kids and beautiful homes. But we’re human beings who also need to rest and recharge on a regular basis.
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When we simplify, dive headfirst into our tasks, and don’t get caught up in self-doubt, we’re creating more space and time in our day to do the things that we love. That could be watching movies, reading books, going on vacation with family, and bonding with those whom you truly cherish. When we dive in without hesitation, we waste less time getting started and often discover pockets of free time that we never expected. Procrastination does not lead to more chill time.
Integration is the word
So, if balance doesn’t exist, what should we seek out instead? I like to use the word integration because it’s about not separating the compartments of your life, but rather thinking of them in terms of the whole. I’m not saying that your kids are a part of your business and your husband is included in your gym time; I’m saying that all the working pieces of your life create the whole. Don’t miss the forest for the trees, as the saying goes.
But when it comes to the nuts and bolts of integration, what the heck do you do? Honestly, think of your day more as watercolor than paint by numbers—things are going to bleed into one another. For instance, I take my kids to meetings when I need to, and I fulfill soccer mom duties while sometimes taking a business call. Over the holidays, I was scheduled with work/family duties from 2 a.m. till 2 p.m. just to get everything I needed to done before New Year’s. Was it hard to integrate all those things? Yes. Did it all get done? Yes.
This year, just go for it
The start of a new year is a time for people to reflect, make goals for the future, and focus on what wasn’t working in the past. My advice for all the mothers, business owners, artists, philanthropists—everybody—out there: Just go for it. The challenges that you face integrating family and work are unique to you, and no Google search is going bring up the Holy Grail.
So, here is the advice that I’m going to leave you with for 2019:
- Remember that there is no such thing as work-life balance.
- Dive headfirst into your to-do list.
- Integrate the various worlds you occupy.
- Commit yourself fully and know that you’re doing your best.
- Make sure you regularly give yourself time to relax and recharge.
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The post Work-Life Balance Is Impossible—Here’s What to Strive for Instead appeared first on AllBusiness.com. Click for more information about Meeta Vengapally.