5 Ways to Find More Balance & Banish 'Busy'
As a life coach to Moms who have goals, I talk to a lot of women who are functioning okay, but they want to do better. They usually have specific goals they have in mind, or something they want to accomplish that they haven’t been able to do before. Their sights are often centered on connecting with their kids in more meaningful ways, bringing in more money from their side hustle, or monetizing their passion by turning it into a business.
For every one of these people, I’m not concerned about giving them more to do, they’re usually already doing a lot; I’m more concerned about helping them create balance. They generally have the hustle figured out, in fact some are hiding behind a lot of ‘busy’ so that they don’t have to face the uncomfortable parts of their life. It’s time to stop hiding and it’s time to stop attaching yourself to ‘busy'. I invite you to live a different way, and it’s a place where you’ll feel more peace and more confidence.
Although it’s a little different for every person, here is my list of 5 ways to find more balance that I think would apply to anyone. Start with these and see how your life shifts with more balance, and for once and for all, give up the ‘busy’ badge like it’s a reward.
Know Your ‘Why’
Although this is a trendy term in the business and personal development world right now, I see a lot of value in it in your everyday life. Knowing your ‘why’ refers to the specific reason for doing what you do. Simon Sinek speaks of this in depth in a very popular TED talk found here. In relating balance to what he’s talking about, you probably know what you need to do, but do you know why you’re doing it? If you don’t, you probably don’t feel balanced. Watch it, listen to him & you’ll see what I mean. Knowing this shifts your mindset and can suddenly change a menial task like prepping dinner to your favorite part of your day because you’re using it to connect with and teach your kids.
Another angle of your ‘why’ is knowing the 6 basic needs of every human being. Tony Robbins talks about this with more detail here. If you can channel everything you do into one of these 6 needs, you’ll feel balanced. What need are you meeting for yourself? Your kids? And how about your spouse? This enhances each activity with a greater sense of purpose and nothing will feel meaningless—in other words, you’ll feel balanced and purposeful and not just ‘busy.’
Opt-in, in other Words, Choose Your Life
You do not have to do anything! I repeat, you do not have to do anything! One more time for the people in the back: You do not have to do anything! It’s true, my friends. Stop looking at everything on your to-do list as obligations and must-dos, that only breeds resentment and exhaustion. Choose in to your life. Opt in as the owner and the CEO of your existence. Take everything off your to-do list that you don’t want to do. You can either let it go or get someone else to do it (I coach many clients to start delegating housework to someone who will gladly do it for a fee). Empower yourself with the “I choose” mentality instead of the “I have to” mentality. I choose to make dinner for my family because I love to serve a healthy meal and gather my family around delicious food. I choose to keep track of my finances because I love to see what comes in and what goes out. I choose to wash and fold the laundry because I love to have order in the house. On the flip side, you can also choose to do it differently. Sometimes I intentionally choose to let the laundry go, so that I can keep commitments to myself to write, create content, or work on a training. Choosing is the point. Opting in is your right and privilege. You have the power.
Practice the Pause
Moving from one task to the next, or activity, can feel crazy and make life seem chaotic. From work to school pick up, to soccer practice to band, to dinner preparations and homework, it may seem like you never get a breather. You need to intentionally create those breaths. Practice the Pause is what I call this and it’s a lot like switching gears. When you get good at this you can do it in a manner of seconds. For example, when moving from working mode to Mommy mode, take a brief pause and picture yourself changing hats. You’re about to change gears and that requires notice to your brain so that it knows what’s going on. If you take your work to-do list and worries with you into your Mommy duties, you’ll be distracted and tense. Practice the pause, switch gears and you’ll feel more balanced. It’s when we get sloppy with these boundaries that we feel out of sorts and snappy.
Watch Your Words
Do you catch yourself saying how busy you are? Do you often regale others with stories of your packed days and how crazy life is? How about describing yourself as a ‘hot mess’? Does that come out of your mouth too often? Or maybe you keep those thoughts to yourself, but they bounce around in your brain bounteously. Watch your words, my friends! Both the ones that come out of your mouth and the ones that hang out as thoughts. If you let them hang out too long, you’ll believe them! If you feel overwhelmed when looking at your to-do list, try looking at your to-do list with new eyes and say what you want to create. “I have a lot to do and I’m going to feel so good when I get it done,” “There is a lot I need to get done and I’m capable of doing it all” and “I’ll stick with this until I get it all done” are a few suggestions of using words to create what you want. What’s happening in your life right now is a result of the thoughts you’ve had for awhile now, so see what happens a few months from now when you intentionally change those words to represent a more confident, consistent, and successful mind.
Keep Your Commitments
A feeling of being unbalanced comes from thinking that you didn’t get something done, you didn’t meet a need, or that something is missing. So often the thing that is missing is commitment. You may have said you’d get up and go running, but you couldn’t pull yourself out of bed. You may have said you’d work on follow-up phone calls for your business in the afternoon, but you got distracted by checking Instagram and Facebook. Keeping those commitments to yourself may be the hardest ones to keep because you don’t have a boss that will write you up, you don’t have a teacher that will get on your case, or a parent that will take away a privilege. You simply have yourself and you need to show up as the boss and the employer. Keep your commitments! At any given moment, you’ll be distracted by something — a messy room! A pile of laundry! That text! Your pile of mail! & your brain will want to address those things, but stay committed to the task you said you’d get done. The laundry can wait, that interesting article can be read later, the Netflix show will still be there tonight. Keep your commitments. Stay focused. Show up for yourself and get the task done. Then when it’s time to relax or be present for your kids, stay committed to that as well. You need both to feel balanced & ‘busy’ doesn’t help, it only creates exhaustion.
Go forth and be productive, and be balanced in your attempt at working on your goals. When you start making these shifts, you’ll catch a glimpse of the creator within. You are that creator. You have the capacity to create whatever you want. Make it MIGHTY!