For many years now I have dismissed the term work life balance in favour of what I call work life blending. For me the basic premise of work life balance is that one is good and the other is bad or at the very least one is to the detriment of the other. I have never seen life in this way.
For me my work is part of my life and as such everything needs to be blended together in a way that suits me and those I care for. I work hard and I try to make my work time as productive as possible. I learn in my car, I network at fun events, I relax with friends and family, I get up early to fit in personal development, exercise and writing blogs!! I do lots of things in a blend that works for me.
I know that for lots of people work is separate from “life” and they reach for this promised land called work life balance. Well I say to them stop it! Stop trying to balance things and stick them in a big blender and press go! Blend them all up until the vast majority of your life is fulfilling and enjoyable not just for you but for those around you.
When I first gave up being employed 20 years ago I had a massive sense of release. I took control of my life and I realised that I could do “whatever I liked”. That was the start of a work life blending journey which I am still on today. Today I choose the blend on any given day, month and year. Some years I have taken a lot of holidays, some years I have worked without a break. It’s not the balance that counts it’s the blend and you can choose.
To help you I have put together some tips to get started.
Gain control of how your earn your money! OK I am not saying quit your job (unless you really don’t enjoy it), I am saying make sure it has flexibility so that you get to choose how much you work, where from and for how long. Our ability to do this varies and everybody will have some commitments dictated by others, your goal is to have a level of control that suits your blend.
Understand that getting the right blend can take time. Until you start this blending process you will not know what works for you, so take your time. Change the recipe bit by bit and see what is working. You deserve to enjoy as much of your life as you can; strive for 100%
Surround yourself with a great team. Your team is pretty much anybody with whom you interact on a regular basis. Again, blend this team at home and at work so that it is the right fit for you. Don’t be afraid to deselect people who are not the right fit in your blend and to go look for new people to bring in.
Forget trying to balance anything; It is such a precise thing to do that you will get yourself in knots trying.
Consider each hour, each day, week, month and year; is this blend working or should I change? As time goes by what worked for us then may not work for us any more, its life that we change and so does our environment. Be brave and change with it.
I hope that by using these 5 steps you can find an incredible and beautiful blend in your life. One that allows you to live the life you want, earn money they way you want to and spend each and every day having fun as part of an amazing life that serves your purpose.
Julian Lewis is a portfolio entrepreneur; he is the UK National Director for Influencers International a global movement which inspires good people to create good business. He is also an Executive Director of BNI the world’s largest referral organisation. In 2000 he started his IT company Positive Computing which has been profitable every year since.