'Balance': finding it, looking for it, maintaining it, has been all the buzz since the beginning of time, for everyone. Work-life, social-home, the constant shifting of priorities & overwhelming demands coming at you from all the sides, all the time. Some people seem to be pros at this. They have their shit together & are the masters of getting it all done while maintaining a sense of play.
I've never, ever been good at this.
It's always been completely unnatural to me. One extreme or the other here. I can play like a champ or work like a boss, but managing the world of all at once has always left me flailing. Probably because I want to do everything always, or absolutely nothing. I'm also a multi-talented creative, exceptionally average at everything & in a steady state of dabbling, testing the waters of every bright idea that comes my way. (Even this post ended up having to be re-written because I went completely off topic.)
I first heard the term 'multi-talented creative' from entrepreneur & business coach Marie Forleo & immediately identified with it. Anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I've always got multiple wild plans in the making but the follow through is either a long-time coming, or doesn't. This becomes both overwhelming & disheartening. It also makes a mockery of a person's self-worth. Fortunately Forleo has a great method on how to deal with these, drawing focus, without giving up any bit of who you are or what you love.
Here it is, with some building upon, by yours truly:
- Make a list of everything you want to or need to do. This is ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING. If you want to launch a business, on the list; visit family, on the list; learn how to do a head stand, write a book, run five kilometers, you got it, on the list. Nothing is too big or small, dreamlike or insignificant. By including everything, you ensure balance & avoid overwhelm. It also means putting it on paper & making it real.
- Next, go through this list & cross out everything that doesn't register as a hell ya. Keep in mind, there are certain things that must be done in order to function as an adult in the world. Things like taxes, bookkeeping, going to the Dentist, don't generally rouse our excitement but they need to happen. Keep those on the list obviously.
- Don't panic if you didn't cross much off, you'll continue to refine.
- Break down the remaining list into the following timelines: this week, this month, six months, this year, three years, five years, & if there's any that lay further into your future, set them aside for the moment. You'll revisit this list often to add, remove, adjust, & repeat.
- Now, pull out your calendar & start scheduling things in. Make it realistic & include times. Bigger projects & often the long term items will need to be broken into smaller, actionable steps. For example, you want to launch your website in six months. As someone who's built multiple, I can relate to how daunting a job this can be, so start with the basics. What do you want it to feel like? Accomplish? What's the message? What pages do you want? What does the about page say etc etc. Take each of these individual items & schedule a time to do them over the next six months. Include a launch date as well & you'll see over the following months the gradual formation of your goal. Same goes with something like a headstand. Say you've never even done yoga. Start with registering for a class, trying a few schools & genres, move into workshops, & practice at home. Voila! A headstand before you know it!
- Stay realistic. Be really honest with yourself when putting together this schedule & understand that most people start out strong & find it challenging to maintain the momentum.
- Don't get stuck in perfectionism. Just start, You will continue refinement in everything, always. Understand that it is in imperfection that some of our greatest discoveries are made.
- Finally, be gentle. With yourself. With your support system. With strangers. Be open to set backs & don't allow them to get the better of you.
Clear, focused steps permit you to let go of what isn't actually important & settle into a rhythm with what is. It also makes it easier to stay true to yourself. These lists are fluid & live, they will shift & evolve as you do, so stay open to this. As you start seeing some of these things happen & cross items, you'll find inner harmony. By prioritizing, or scheduling space for the many important things you carry, such as time with loved ones, hobbies, & travel, you'll maintain a fairly steady state of equilibrium...like the boss you are.
I encourage you to check out Marie Forelo's website. She's a total lady boss & offers tons of free resources (as well as some amazing paid programs).