Can we stop midweek and talk about work/life balance for a second? Someone once said to me “balance is for ballerinas.” There’s some truth to that… ballerinas have to balance, otherwise they simply fall down.

As a working mom, I don’t have time to fall down. I don’t have time to get sick, I don’t have time for a snowday, I don’t have time for plan B. But what 2020 taught me was rolling with Plan B, slowing down, staying home, stopping the miles and miles I put on my car everyday driving from meeting to meeting and groceries and picking up from practice meant I could find more free time.

But I had to be forced. Now I find more time to sit on the couch at night watching mindless TV. I find more time to play with my dogs midday. I find more time to just slow down.

Here’s the thing. We were all working a million hours a week and now… maybe not. One thing I think people have gotten used to is working from home and being interrupted by a dog barking, a thirsty child, a UPS delivery. And we’ve all seen what it’s like to meld it all together to create a day.

But what’s most important here – whether you are working from home or not –  is that you force that balance.

No one is going to do this for you. 

No one is going to say, “Hey, this person has a hole on their calendar, I don’t want to schedule a meeting during their only free block of 30 minutes that day, I’ll check another time.” NO. If they need to meet with you and see 30 minutes on your calendar, they are going to take it. No one is going to say, “well, you only have 6pm available and that must be dinnertime with your family so let’s check another day.” NO. They’ll take it.

So do yourself a favor. BLOCK your calendar. Now. Go through it, make sure you’ve scheduled workouts. Make sure you’ve schedule time between meetings. Don’t have a meeting end at 1 and the next one start at 1. Give yourself a break. Make your meetings 50 minutes and in those 10 minutes between, walk around your house. Inhale, exhale, grab something to eat, hydrate. Your brain will thank you.

Go ahead and schedule days off. Now. Make them non- negotiable. Even if travel doesn’t come into play for months, give yourself the gift of a few days off. The work will be there when you get back.

No one will ever get to inbox 0. 

Let go of the fantasy that “I just need to finish this one thing and then I can take some time off.” It won’t happen unless you just take the time.

Force the balance. 

Want to have some work/life balance? Make it. Create it. Force it. There really is no other choice.

Note this photo is from our group of friends with whom we travel for Spring Break and it was taken in 2019. Here’s hoping we get back to the beach together!  

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