The Blog.

Balance and sanity – is it possible?

22 Jun 2011 | Business Life, Happiness

When I introduce myself at networking meetings I often say that I provide support, sanity and success strategies for people juggling business and family.

And sanity is what most people leap at! The funny thing is, it’s not rocket science actually, when you come to think of it:

Sanity comes with that feeling of knowing what you’re doing, and seeing how it contributes to the bigger picture.

Sanity comes when you realize you don’t have to be supermum to get great results in business and have great fun with the kids. It helps when you know you don’t have to do it ALL, when you can be selective about what you do, and know that you can do that well.

Sanity comes when you focus on what you do want, instead of trying to achieve balance like some sort of equation.

Let me give you an example. If you’re trying to “balance” work and family like a set of scales, every time you spend some time on the work side of things, it tips the balance, and you think perhaps you should do something with the kids to “make up for it”. The same happens vice versa.

The problem is, the attention is always on the other side. When you’re working, your focus is on the kids, when you’re with the kids, your focus is on work. And that means you’re less effective in what you’re doing, less present and you enjoy it less as well.

Instead if you focus on what you do want, not what’s missing, you’re more likely to make it happen. Rather than think of all the things you’re not doing with your children, and talking yourself into a whole world of guilt, what do you want to do with them? How do you want to be enjoying your time? What’s important to you about the time you spend with your kids?

In my last blog post, Five questions to get your business ready for summer, I asked what you would choose to focus on if you only had an hour a day to work on your business. Equally, if you only had an hour right now to spend with your children, what make it a fantastic, memorable and precious hour of time really well spent?

One way I like to think of things, instead of balance, is like a dance – when you dance, or when you watch a dance, there’s a rhythm and variety. It’s not a sequence of scientific, equally measured, uniform steps. It’s expressive, passionate and full of life.

And that’s how I’d like to encourage you to be this summer – ditch the idea that life has to be ‘balanced’ and design it how you want, around what matters to you, with all the features and highlights that are important to you.

4 Comments

  1. Naomi Richards

    Sounds exciting. I think life can be easier if you compartmentalise it and when with the family your heart is too. The same goes for business.

    Reply
    • Grace Marshall

      Thanks Naomi – I think being present is very important, putting your heart and attention into whatever it is you’re doing at the time – whether that’s with your family or business.

      I wouldn’t say I compartmentalise though, as for me that feels like I have divide my attention rather than focus. I prefer to see it all as interlinked – different aspects of the same life, different roles of the same person (multiple commitments rather than multple personalities!) – and I try and make sure that I hold the same values throughout and the goals I have are all aligned so that doing business well has a positive impact on my family, and vice versa.

      Reply
  2. Julia, KidsTravel2

    That’s a good and different way of looking at things – focusing on the quality and really being ‘in the moment’ rather than absently being there in body but not spirit.  Am going to give this way of thinking a whirl!

    Reply
    • Grace Marshall

      Thanks for your comment Julia. I’m glad this has resonated with you. Let me know how you get on!

      Reply

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About Grace

I coach, train, write and speak on productivity. I help people adopt new ways of working and thinking about their work to replace stress, overwhelm and frustration with success, sanity and satisfaction.

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