I honestly think there’s no such thing as achieving work/life balance and that there are no magic tips or tricks to make it happen. It’s one of those topics that you see on conference boards and as the headline of many articles, but they’re often just fluff pieces and speeches.
The reality is, some days you’ll likely feel more satisfied with your life than others. At times, there might be many factors at play (perhaps a new contract, you’ve meal prepped, kids behaved) and at other times it might just be a shift in your mood (or the weather).
I’m always putting my kids first, which means that over the past four years, working out and work take a second seat. I couldn’t seem to find a way to get it all done each day. I set up an office. I created a gym space in our basement. So, why was it still so difficult to do it all?
I realized that I didn’t make those things (work and working out) work for me. I put my gym space in the basement — my least favourite place in the house. For some reason, the grey walls and lack of natural light instantly feel like a downer to me. I created an office in a part of the house that’s cut off from everything else (which I thought was a good thing) until I realized that I do my best work when there’s a lot of energy around me.
Throughout my career, I operated in an extremely busy, creative environment. TVs blared, people laughed over YouTube videos, colleagues squealed over fun parcels and so on. I’ve never worked in a quiet space. So it was much more natural for me to move my computer into the busiest space in our home. As soon as I made “work” for convenient for me (meaning I worked at the dining table in the heart of our home) I put it off less. I found the joy in it again and because it was always in sight (my computer sat on the floor beside my chair at the table) I was much more inclined to pick it up and do it.
It’s the same with fitness. In setting up my workout space in the basement, I never go down there. It feels like a big thing to shut myself in that space and work out. I don’t enjoy it. But I do enjoy the bright light in our front piano room. Whenever the kids are in there, I find myself doing push-ups, squats, lunges etc. So, instead of focusing my energy on disliking the basement, and spending my money building a gym down there, I should be channeling all of that towards setting something up in the bright room.
The fewer obstacles you put in front of achieving your goals, the easier they will be to accomplish. If you do a bit of everything, here and there, you’ll eventually feel that sense of inner balance. It’s not always about plotting everything down in a schedule or calendar. It’s more about finding the time to do the things that drive you and build up your energy!
So here’s to rebuilding my new gym space over the next week (that’s on my to-do) list. It’s really just going to be as simple as finding something to store my small weights that keep them out of sight when they’re not in use.