be present

No Such Thing As Perfect Balance

Be present to your life - Work when you're working and be present to family when you're with family

Hello there everyone.

I want to have a little chat today.

First, welcome. You know, I do this welcoming you into the Happy Career Hub corner.

And today I want to talk about, you know, balance in our life and our careers.

And I'm particularly addressing the women, but also men who are single dads, raising kids who feel caught between being present as a parent and being fully present in their career.

It is a challenging time for people who must do both.

Now, the first thing to understand is that there is no such thing as perfect balance. Sometimes you must give the energy to the work because there’s holidays, there are projects, there are deadlines, all those things.

Sometimes the priority goes to your parenthood because you know - the children are sick. You have to leave work early. You have to take time out to do all of those things.

And in recent years, the last couple in particular, we have seen how much we've had to navigate that balance because so many people were working from home, working remotely, which means that the home and the offices were in the same place. So it was even more difficult to navigate that balance.

The first thing to understand is that there is no such thing as perfect balance. And once you understand that you can give yourself the leeway and always simply put your best foot forward, whichever role you're playing.

They’re all going to collide. Your parenting, your role as a professional, someone who wants to give a hundred percent, someone delivering excellence is sometimes going to collide with your role as a parent that is simply a given

But a couple of things to do, to take the stress and anxiety out of it, are…

Number one, be present.

Wherever you are, when you're working, be present to your work, be present to your team, to your people, to what you’re doing.

Similarly, when you're at home, be present, leave the phone alone. When it's time to take the kids out for a walk or run time to simply play with them, build puzzles, whatever, leave work at work. And even if you're working from home, leave work on the computer, perhaps move out of the room that would normally be your office and get present to the children. Whether it's in the lounge, the kitchen, you could be baking things with them, feeding them, simply talking about whatever over dinner, but be fully present.

There is something wonderful about being available - being fully available to what you're doing.

It's great for you. 

And it's also great for the people involved.

People like to know that they matter your team liked to know that they matter. So if you're fully present to your team at work, you going to give off those vibes.

Similarly, if you're fully present to your kids at home, you’re going to give off those vibes as well.

And it comes down to making people feel like they matter, right? And it's not hard to do.

It's simply about being present - fill your own cup first.

So what I mean by that, you need to make sure that you’re healthy, that you’re energetic, that you have energy for all the things and the competing priorities. So take care of your health, your mental health and your physical health.

Some simple ways to take care of your mental and physical health is to know when to take a break, to know when it's time for you to step out and go for a walk, maybe be with your own thoughts, maybe meditate simply to reflect, maybe have a time in a corner where you can read something that you love, reading, whatever it is that makes you feel revitalized.

You need to fill your own cup up first, before you can fully be present to someone else.

Because here's the thing - if you're not energetic, if you're not healthy, if you don't feel great, then even if your aim is to try and make people feel like they matter your energy, isn't going to match that.

And that's going to be a challenge. You're going to have the intention of making people feel like they matter, whether it's the people you work with or whether it's your family at home, but your energy is not going to match that.

So there's going to be miss alignment. And before you know it, you're going to be frustrated. And the people around you are going to feel like you don't care.

So it’s really important to fill your own cup up first.

Spend your time wisely, right?

You need to know how to compartmentalize your time. Be present when it matters.

Now, as I said, sometimes time is going to collide. You can’t compartmentalize your time all the time. You can do, especially if you're working from home and working remotely, you can have set times scheduled in your calendar for certain tasks to do with work. You can have your appointments all lined up and the kids' appointments all lined up, but things do go wrong, right?

But one of the ways to keep control or to keep on top of things is to have things properly scheduled, to have your time scheduled wisely, and always have a little bit of contingency in your plan, in your day-to-day schedule, because you don't know when things are going to go off kilter. When you suddenly going to be called from the school to say your Johnny or your Mary is sick and you need to leave to come and collect them and take them to the doctor, be present when they need some mommy or daddy time.

So make sure that there's some contingency in your day to allow for those moments where those unexpected things happen and work and family life collide, and you have to pivot and adjust.

Leave work at work - leave work at work.

It's really important to know when to shut off.

It's really easy, especially I certainly have found that, you know, working remotely and things like that, I can tend to go longer during my days than I would like to. And that can sometimes infringe upon family time. So try and make it a habit not to do that.

Leave work at work, know when to separate work from family time and be present, fully present to your family and fully present to your work.

Make sure that there is separation between the two, as much as you can.

Also, as I said, let me repeat that. Knowing that sometimes things will collide in the end. It's really about you taking ownership of success in your life by creating as much balance and at the same time, understanding that there's never going to be perfect balance.

You can only do what you can do. And it's important not to become anxious over the decisions that you make - how you organize your life. But to simply do it and have your contingency, have your leeway so that when things go off-kilter, you can still find sections in your schedule in your day to rebalance and realign as much as you can.

The simple message is do the best you can do, the best you can without putting pressure and without stepping into the realms of anxiety over things you can't control.

That's it for today. That's my tips around balance in your work life and in your personal life, particularly in your parenting life. Because I know our kids can really cause us anxiety and we can get guilty about certain things.

Leave the guilt alone.

It doesn't serve any purpose. Never has - never will.

Simply do the best you can and take ownership of your decisions and be happy with how you've created your life.

Have a great day, everyone.