This past spring I was asked to speak at a conference, something I do often. The thing is that I typically speak about entertaining or the history and etiquette of monograms. This event, The Southern C Summit, was different because I was asked to speak on the art of work/life balance.
I don't mind mixing up the topic but this one really got me because I certainly don't feel like I have that topic mastered! I'm never one to decline a challenge so I set out to analyze my own struggle with the topic and get tips and advice from those who seem to have it mastered.
First, I asked my husband....
That wasn't totally the insight I was looking for but I took it and I'll try to learn from it. I know he is right though. I have only two modes - non-stop and breakdown!
Lesson No. 1 - Try to slow down so that I can find a pace that I can maintain. I'm always rushing. Always! I end up crashing and burning because I operate at a pace that I simply can't keep up with.
Next I turned to a friend who always seems to have it all together. She told me that she was working with a life coach that has changed her life....
Well that statement hit me! I don't know about you but I spend a lot of time working on these little tasks that aren't important and let that dictate what my day looks like.
Lesson No. 2 - Take better control of my calendar. I think part of what I need to do is allow some bonus time in my schedule for the unexpected things that come up during the day like the "sick" call from school, an impromptu lunch with a friend, technical glitches, the printer not working, or a project that needs more attention than I expected.
I was feeling a bit down and out and I was being hard on myself and then I thought of my dear friend Pat Smith. She is a gem! She has a very full life as a mother to five children and as a wife to former Dallas Cowboy and Dancing with the Stars Champion Emmitt Smith. In addition to those responsibilites, she has taken on her ministry, Treasure You, and operates their non-profit, Pat and Emmitt Smith Charities! Now that is a great deal of juggling!
Lesson No. 3: Her secret that I have adopted - giving grace to our friends and to ourselves.
A few months ago I was asked to host a live Q and A with the amazing Tim Gunn at a large event in Dallas. In anticipation of the event, I learned so much about all that he does! He is a serious juggler of many creative tasks and, with his role on project runway, guides so many creative types who are under pressure to create magic in a matter of minutes sometimes!
How does that apply to us? That leads me to
Lesson No. 4: Well, no matter what you do, sometimes we just have to be ok with the way things are and make them work! Love that! It is a game changer if you decide to take what you have and mold it to suit your goals.
That leads me to my next waste of time - I just knew that I had to eliminate worry and stress about what I was missing out on or not getting to. I lived with constant professional FOMO. I had so many goals that I just couldn't seem to touch! I found a great article by Cali Williams Yost that focused on what natural work/life balancers do that we can learn from.
Lesson No. 5: Let go of what doesn't get done. When I started doing that, I felt so much more satisfaction from accomplishing the goals I did reach and the check marks I did get to put on my to-do list! I learned to edit my list of goals and make them a bit more realistic as well!
I hope this helps you a little bit! It is something that I am constantly working on and I would love to hear from you about what you do to find better balance! I hope you will leave your comments here and share!