Start with Balance in your life

People who know me will find this to be a hilarious topic. Balance is one of the things I hear everyone talking about today.

Are you struggling to find balance?

I couldn’t help but hear Jim Connolly speaking to me when I read his post, Have you been working this week? Jim also mentions Danny Brown’s post, the Danger of Not Work. Both write about how when work isn’t “work” to us, we run the risk of never quitting.

Jim said:

If like most business owners you LOVE what you do, always be aware of the need for balance.  Paradoxically, by working a little less, you often find that you achieve a little more.

and Danny said:

When we’re passionate about something, we never see it as something we have to do – we see it as something we want to do. But how long does it take for our not work leading to everything else not working?

Do you even think about balance?

One of my friends e-mailed me these words and told me to put them on my computer:

Take time for yourself — every day!

I put them on a post-it and left it there for a few years. My friend struggled and still struggles with the same problem himself, so in reminding me, he was reminding himself.

But I do love what I do.

I love working with my clients. I love blogging. I love social networking and writing in general so none of it is work for me.

However, I do know I can’t be creative all the time and the well does run dry. So I break up my days, doing house projects sometimes. When I am running out of steam, I take a nap.

In the summer months, I tend to be outside much more. Wisconsin doesn’t lend itself to play much, for me, anyway since I don’t ski or snowmobile. In the spring, summer, and fall, I walk and work in my yard or even just move to the deck.

I wrote about the job seeker perspective in All Work and No Play, Or earlier. The same concept applies to anyone, job seeker, career changer, entrepreneur, or happily employed and not moving.

Uncover ways to reach a point of balance

  1. Read fiction. Not deep fiction, just light fiction that makes me relax. I finish a book every few days. Delving into someone else’s world gives me a different perspective and I love to read. Before I only allowed myself to read books related to marketing or the career industry. It wasn’t relaxing to read anymore. It was work! Novels entertain me and often teach me at the same time.
  2. Go to bed earlier. Before I stayed up until 10 pm or so most nights. The last three hours often were spent sitting watching TV mindlessly and waiting for the magic hour. If I wake up sleepless, I pick up my book and read again until I am tired. My average sleep is more than 7 hours most nights as opposed to 5 to 6 hours.
  3. Break away to cook. Cooking is something I love. I enjoy being creative in the kitchen.
  4. Meet a friend for coffee or lunch and just leave for a couple of hours. Since I don’t have a car right now, I am at home (where work is) most of the time. Getting out just for a bit helps.

Notice that none of the points above cost anything except #4 costs any money and even #4 can be under $20 easily (if you opt for lunch instead of coffee). For job seekers watching a budget, these are a few options to break up your day.

I suspect balance will always be a challenge for me, but I will give more thought to finding more.

Taking care of yourself when you are in a job search is important. If you need help to make your job search successful, learn more here.

4 Comments

  1. Danny Brown on December 29, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    Hey there Julie,

    Nice follow-up to Jim’s discussion (and thanks a lot for including me here with him).

    You always seem to get the balance right; and I can see why with posts like this that share your make-up. I need to work on the sleep thing, as I’m probably averaging around 4-5 hours, and I know that’s not healthy long-term.

    Thanks for all you do, miss, and it’s been great chatting with you in 2010 – here’s to many more next year and beyond. 🙂



    • Julie Walraven on December 30, 2010 at 5:02 am

      Hi Danny! I’m selfishly writing this series for me because I don’t get the balance right. I am working on fixing it as I write this reply before 5am… 🙂 I did go to bed at 9 last night and when I woke up this morning at 3:10, I wrote my list for today and finished the book I was reading. Sleep is important for many reasons, so you work on that one too.

      It has been fun touching base with you and I appreciate it much! Here’s to a great 2011!



  2. Julie,
    Great post – I know I am ‘nothing’ without a good night’s sleep. I also agree with Danny that (though a bit of a paradox because of our passion for our entrepreneurial ventures) we often get a bit more done by doing a bit less.

    Creating unplug time to let the subconscious do it’s thing while playing, resting and connecting with those activities and relationships important to us beyond the business is SO healthy … for all of us!

    Cheers, and best to you in your continued initiative. Love to hear that you’re reading fiction again; and that you break away to cook. What wonderful releases that are both pleasurable and provide value-add to yours and others’ lives!

    Jacqui



    • Julie Walraven on January 3, 2011 at 4:03 pm

      Thanks, Jacqui, I do think I will be giving me more unplug time in 2011. and permission for naps when I am operating on no sleep. I really am loving this fiction series and may choose to blog about it. It’s about three sisters who run a bed and breakfast.

      And Alaskan wild sockeye salmon with fruit salsa is on the menu tonight 🙂