Working with artists and professionals which are independent appeals to me due to the fact the work-life balance is always there in our lives – for the independent life, business and work are entangled and it is hard to cut loose our emotions from that web. Business challenges affect our personal lives and our personal affairs influence our business.
The connection between professional and personal life may be rough and keeping the balance between work and life can be really hazardous. I found out about that not long ago, just after I set some daring targets to reach in my business A X-ray of my breasts which usually is a routine, showed some abnormalities this time. In the weeks that followed I underwent an additional mammography, a biopsy and eventually surgery. The happy news was that the abnormalities were harmless and so I could get back to work full speed, leaving the experience for what it was.
However… that is not the way it worked out. Simply because I did not feel like working at all. I did like my client work and engagements to speak at certain gatherings, but just hated to think of the analytic and creative work that comes with tele-classes and internet marketing. I really tried my best but I could not bring myself to any enthusiasm for these tasks. In my private life I felt the need for time and energy to renew and restore my inner balance while in my work I felt I should make good for lost time in the past few weeks.
Needless to say I was once again caught in the dilemma between my spirit and my business requirements, as I had been before and I know magical success formulas don’t exist, let alone help. But I do know as well that we can take care of our lives and our businesses once we agree that we will put in the work that is needed for that.
I have put together nine strategies which may help you to change the road to your destination and may also come in handy if you want to put the relation between work and private life back in balance:
1. Don’t panic
Although you might be caught in panic the best way to handle the situation is modest steps instead of giant decisions. At a time like this you do not get a divorce, sack an employee or buy important things like a new computer system. Modest steps are called for. Tip: to get some perspective you might want to talk to a coach or therapist.
2. Return to your source
It is not important from what walk of life you come, just try to get a connection back with your source of life or your spirit. Acknowledge that something bigger than you embraces you. Try to spend a minimum of 15 minutes per day to connect with your source. (Mark Silver describes in his free downloadable book “Getting to the Core of Your Business” the Remembrance Practice which I really like).
3. Tell the truth
At time our energy leaves us when we are just pleasing others all the time or live up to standards we don’t recognize as our own. Check if there is an imbalance. Be aware when you are not totally honest and be clear for yourself about your motives. If there is any weeding to do, clean up afterwards. Tip: talking to a therapist or coach may help you to communicate more clearly.
4. Check your body
Do you sleep well? Do you eat healthily? How is the level of your energy? If you feel you could do better in these fields you might go for a professional check up and take action to restore your well being.
5. Tune up your thinking
Evidence shows that if we manage our way of thinking we can profoundly affect our mood and motivation. Check the internet for book-sites that have books with which you can upgrade your cognitive skills, try to talk to a therapist or do both (if you are in a good health psychologically a professional coach will do just as well).
6. Surround yourself with good company
Do your peers and clients stimulate you, encourage you? How about your playmates? If you play on the wrong playground with stupid kids it is neither much fun nor very productive.
7. Set healthy, flexible limits
Yes I know, there is an intimately connection between real life and real business. However that does not mean you have to give up your whole privacy. To reach a balance between work and life you have to set limits in such a way you can feel like giving without completely depleting yourself and feel available without “being overrun”. Keep these limits flexible because like everything else in life, things may change.
8. Create or refine systems
In order to run a real life and a real business we need good systems. Check to find the weak parts and find a solution to get the system back on track. If you don’t have a system, create one.
9. Keep the goal, drop the plan
The best way to reach a goal is sometimes to forget about your plans. Clear out the file with commitments and offers and only keep those that can bring your current activity in balance with the current resources. There is no need to abandon ship when all you have to do is drop the anchor and make some necessary repairs – or enjoy a few weeks off.
Using these strategies made me postpone the re-launch of a tele-class and withdraw for a while from internet marketing. Thus I stopped the war between my business and myself so I was able to repair the imbalance between life and work. Now I feel more enthusiastic about the things I undertake – like writing this article. My demanding goals are now inviting possibilities which no longer put me off. If it takes more time to reach my goals, getting there will sure be sweet.