One of the main reasons that I gave up my well paid job as an Assistant Producer in TV back in 2005 was because I felt that my life was completely off-balance. I had spent nearly 9 years of my beautiful daughter’s life trying to juggle my career and my desire to be the best mum that I could be to her but it simply wasn’t working. I often worked long, anti-social hours which meant that when I did actually have time with Georgia, I was either exhausted or stressed. However, how I could possibly walk away from the big salary as long as I had the financial pressures and responsibilities that I had? I was too scared to listen to what my heart was telling me and, as is often the case, life finally gave me a big slap around the head to wake me up and make me pay attention to what really mattered – my little girl was hit by a car.
Thankfully, she survived but the long minutes that I spent thinking that I had lost her were enough for me to wake up and make some serious decisions about my life. I realised that more than anything, I wanted to spend more quality time with her, that I wanted to have more freedom in my working hours and holiday times, that SHE was the most important thing in my life, not paying the mortgage or having a successful career.
Many of you will understand how hard it is to strike that balance between work and being a parent and many of you will constantly feel that your work/life balance is off-kilter. You may also feel that you have no choice in this matter but, of course, we always have choices….quite often they are very difficult ones though. To help you to get some perspective and look at the choices you are making, try the following exercise.
Take a few minutes to imagine that you are now 75 years old and looking back over your life.... What regrets do you have about how you spent your precious time and energy? What do you wish you had done more off? What do you wish you had done less off?
Then get out a pen and your journal or a piece of paper and answer the following questions:-
What REALLY matters to you in your life? (These are the things that mean that, if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full – your family, friends, health, spirituality, the things you are passionate about.)
How much time each day do you currently spend on these things that truly matter to you?
What excuses do you make to yourself for NOT spending more time on these things?
What relatively meaningless tasks do you fill your time with instead?(Watching TV, grocery shopping, surfing the web, reading newspapers or magazines?
How could you simplify your life to create time and space for what really matters to you?
What could you stop doing, or devote less time to, or ask someone else to do? (Order groceries on-line, ask your partner/kids/family to help or pay someone to do it instead.)
We all have the same amount of hours in every day, we all have commitments and responsibilities, we all have bills to pay but, from experience, I can tell you that, if you continue to ignore what your life is trying to tell you, it will get fed up nudging you and, one day, it will slap you around the head to make you listen…don’t leave it until that point…make a commitment to yourself right now to start spending your time doing the things that really matter to you and take your first step today. Keep asking yourself throughout the day “Is this the best use of my time?”
If you still can’t see the wood for the trees and are struggling to strike that balance, then why not book a FREE Introductory Session with one of our Accredited Coaches today to see how they can help you get your balance back?