Let's get right into it.
I'm calling it out! Balance is bull. There, I said it.
The idea of achieving a balanced life where everything in my world operates in perfect harmony seems harder to achieve than resisting my Aunt's macaroni pie on Christmas Day.
There's no such thing as balance. But we've been sold this theory from someone in a lab coat, with a clipboard and arguably no life that this is the goal.
And the reason I'm calling it out is that I think it's doing us more harm than good.
Here's the thing, we've all fallen for it - yep, myself included - where we create a colourful schedule blocking in our time to do all the most important things in our lives - family, fitness, work, etc.
Don't get me wrong, I love a good schedule. Post-it notes and sticky labels turn me on. Heck, I'm a Virgo, of course, I love this stuff - organisation is my middle name.
But if we're not careful we can be setting ourselves up for failure because we look at our plan with wishful pride imagining how awesome we'll feel by Friday when we crush the heck out of our to-do list.
But what happens when we miss the family meal on Tuesday, skip the HIIT workout and make excuses why date night needs to be moved because “something’s come up”?
You feel terrible. Guilt starts to rear its ugly head and you lose momentum.
You feel like you've failed, which you haven't, but we've been sold the idea that our lives need to be in perfect balance in order for us to be happy.
Here's what I think - Don't Seek Balance, Seek Fullness.
We're energetic, creative and passionate beings (well, I'm assuming you are if you're reading this, forgive me if I'm wrong, my bad!)
The worse thing for us to do is stop the flow of our imagination, fun and creativity because it's 5 pm and we need to go to the gym. That sucks!
OK, so now, feels like a good time to quote Tony, all together now: Where focus goes energy flows!
Here's the thing - the human brain cannot focus properly on more than one thing at a time. Sure we can do a couple of things at the same time but we're not really focused fully on either one.
This is why scientific research is highlighting more and more that multi-tasking is a myth or at the very least not good for us.
Instead, if we focus our attention fully on one task at a time we'll feel better and see more measurable results. So the aim is to build our concentration skills - more on that in a sec but first it's time for a little acceptance.
In case you’re curious, acceptance looks like this...
If you wanna work more on your business right now, that's cool.
If you wanna spend more time baking cookies and rolling around in the garden with the kids, that's cool.
If you wanna meal prep and go hard on a new workout plan, that's cool.
If you wanna curl up in bed by 8 every night with 50 Shades Of Grey, girl do your thing, it's cool.
I say, cut yourself some slack.
It's hard starting a business and some things will be pushed to the side temporarily (not forever) while you create a life on your terms.
So, here's the key takeaway: Be Mindful.
When you're at work, really be at work. Turn off all distractions, set your intentions, be focused and productive.
Apply the same level of intention when you're at home. Shut down your emails, turn off your notifications and if you dare put your phone away so you can be fully present with your partner, your kids, your knitting and when you Marie Kondo the heck out of your sock drawer - knock yourself out but be mindful when you do it.
Avoid the temptation to hop in and out of each zone - remember, that's multi-tasking, don't do it!
It zaps your energy and although you may appear “busy”, the switching back and forth stalls your progress.
And most importantly, don't beat yourself up. When you're working hard to bring an idea to life and a dream to fruition you will have to make some sacrifices along the way.
Saying, no, is necessary. Working longer hours may be required. This is part of the journey and the stage you're in right now. Be kind to yourself.
And make sure you communicate what you're committed to and working towards with those you love. After all, teamwork makes the - I'm not gonna say it, it's so cliché - but you get my point.
Here's what I will say: If someone is part of your future include them in your present.
Now, I promised you a little bit on concentration, here it is -
Have a clear and honest understanding of what you're doing at any given time so you can make the most out of each moment; be that baking with the kids, lying-in till noon, working late on a project, scheduling calls with clients, binging Netflix with a bag of sweet ‘n’ salty popcorn, a glass of Rioja, in fluffy black socks (just me!? Oh well).
Concentration is minding yourself, your business and your life. You owe it to yourself to practice staying present.
Alright, let's wrap this up with a little reminder -
You are a game-changing energy force with all you need to dent this world in an extraordinary way.
Lean fully into all the areas of your life when the time calls for you to do so.
Be fully present, fully intentional because you are fully capable.
Screw balance! Let's aim for fullness, however that looks for you.
Think about what your fullest and most meaningful life looks like right now because it will change over time. Accept and embrace the fact.
Make this moment count!
Love, Nat x
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