Have you ever had a phase in your life when you’re doing really well in one area of your life but you almost feel guilty because another area is suffering and you’re left wondering how people achieve this mythical work life balance?
Maybe you’re KILLING it at work but your family resents you for it because you’re never there for them.
… Or maybe your social life is awesome but you’re not taking care of your body.
Here’s the thing…
If you’re not succeeding at balance, you’re not going to be able to sustain the success that you’re experiencing because you will end up sabotaging your own success.
Let’s say you’re killing it at work but your spouse hates that you work so much… You’ll probably start working more to avoid having to deal with the negativity from your spouse, whether that negativity is confrontational or passive aggressive. By working more, you might end up adopting self-destructive habits to maintain your energy and the spiral continues.
… And then we’re left wondering why “everything goes bad at the same time”.
It’s because we weren’t focused on balance.
Like it or not, the other areas of your life will demand attention whether you want to give it or not. Let’s talk about the 6 ‘S’ words that are the different areas of your life and then how to establish balance between them.
It’s not just about work life balance…
I’m not just talking about work life balance… Because work life balance is implying that work should get the same amount of time and attention as your life when that’s not the case. There are SO many areas of your life that need your focus too and when you’re not clear on that, you’ll still feel out of balance.
Instead of just talking about work life balance, let’s talk about the 6 S words.
The 6 S Words
The goal of balance is to be at a place of contentment where you are at peace with your life. That doesn’t mean that you’re not aspiring to greater things, it’s simply focusing on ensuring that you’re succeeding in all areas of your life.
Social: Humans are social creatures. We survive in communities so building and maintaining relationships is super important. Social counts as any relationship outside of yourself — spouse, kids, family, friends and coworkers. If you’re struggling in your personal relationships, are having a hard time connecting with them or have some negative animosity, balance will be incredibly difficult.
Self: If you’re not taking care of yourself, every other area of your life is going to be unsustainable. Think about it this way… If you hate how you look, don’t feel good about yourself, are unfulfilled and hate to wake up every single day, how in the world do you expect to succeed everywhere else in your life? You might be able to for a short time but you won’t be able to sustain it.
Self-Development: Tony Robbins says that the recipe for fulfillment is growth and contribution, so it’s no wonder that 78% of the workforce aren’t fulfilled in their careers. Just because you’re in a job doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be invested in your own personal growth. Our brains are designed to learn and grow so push your brain outside of it’s comfort zone and continue learning.
Service: It’s no secret that you feel good when you give. The more you give, the more compassionate you become and the more connected you are to the world around you. This isn’t just about giving money…. Your time, resources and connections are part of service too.
Security: This is your financial security… Are you behind your bills? Is the debt racking up? Are you dipping into your savings or are you overspending? All of these things will weigh on you and keep you from being able to reach your goals.
Spirituality: I know this is a hot button issue so before we get into this, by definition, spirituality means the quality of being concerned with the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things… The reality is that whether you believe in a higher being, your own consciousness, the little voice in the back of your head or a universal energy, all of these are forms of spirituality. How often are you getting in touch with yourself? How often are you taking time to be present and express gratitude? How often are you having purposeful conversations with yourself or your higher being?
My dad owns a granite fabrication and installation company that’s massively successful. He employs a few dozen people and grosses 7-figures annually… and yet we have no relationship because of how he treats people, his wife is the most miserable person you’ll ever meet in your life (the room and energy turns cold when she walks in) and he hasn’t picked up a book or committed to learning anything new because he knows it all (or at least thinks he does). He’s also been in the hospital a few times in the past few years because he works a ton but doesn’t take care of himself.
Is he successful?
If you only look at his bank account, you could probably say yes…. But he’s not. He’s failing MISERABLY in the areas of self, self-development and social because he’s SO completely out of balance. Being successful is about the whole package, not just the amount of money in your bank account.
Understanding Other People’s Priorities
Everyone has these 6 priorities, the difference is that we all prioritize them differently. For some people, their number one priority is going to be security and they’re probably going to be less of risk takers than someone whose number one priority is self-development. Someone who’s priority is social may care about their physical image more than someone whose number one is spirituality. There’s nothing wrong with any of these, just realize that they are different and the goal is to understand yourself so that you can understand others.
There are a few ways you can start focusing on finding more balance in your life
Start by rating yourself on each of these on a scale of 1-10. No one is going to see this except for you and you can’t fix what you don’t evaluate so be honest with yourself. When you are brutally honest with yourself, you’ll start to find your opportunities for growth.
Look for ways to merge your personal, professional and social life. Are you separating your work life from your friends? When the lines are blurred, you’re able to be more authentic to yourself because you’re no longer trying to display different versions of yourself at different times… You’re just ‘you’. This also helps in building relationships because people will know what to expect with you, regardless of the atmosphere.
To round out your balance, identify the one keystone habit that acts as a catalyst for the rest of your habits… For example, for “self”, my keystone habit is working out. When I workout, I eat better, sleep better, follow my schedule and have more energy. For security, my number one priority is finding new people who want to buy or sell a home — that allows me to grow my real estate business which in turn helps me pay off my student loans, add to my savings and so on… You get the point. Maybe you need to focus on being more present and romantic for your spouse which will make the social aspect of your life a whole lot easier. Identify the ONE habit that you can implement for each category.
Using Your Calendar To Maintain Balance
One of my absolute favorite (and easiest) ways to maintain balance is to get really serious about your calendar. Beyond just writing everything in it, have different colors for each area of your life. That way, you can have a visual display of where you’re spending too much time and which areas of your life need more focus. It’s that simple… The key is that you just have to keep it up!
Remember, it’s not just about work life balance, it really is about keeping the plates of the various aspects of your life spinning. Work life balance is a complete myth because lumping five of the categories into one category of “life” will still leave you feeling unfulfilled. Instead of “work life balance”, let’s start focusing on being well-rounded.
I created this workbook to help you identify the areas you need to focus more energy on so that you can have more balance and a more fulfilling life.