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.
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.
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.
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.