By Don Jackson
We talk often about balance, but I’m not sure that balance truly exists (unless you are referring to Nicole Frybortova, pictured, on a bicycle). I’ve been pondering this idea for weeks as I’ve been traveling from one side of the country to the other side for the last two months. I’m juggling family, working 12-hour days, training, and community commitments. The corporate world loves to use the term work/life balance. But have we been tricked? What does work/life balance really mean?
Thanks to modern technology, email lights up on the phone at dinner with the family, voice mails during the day reach double digits, and your messenger pops up mid-workout with an important work-related message.
It does not have to be this way! However, the onus is on us to make the changes in our daily lives that lead us back to having quality work time, family time, and training time and minimizing interference among them. Here are my thoughts on finding a balanced life:
1. Communication is everything. Being clear on your intentions daily, weekly, and monthly make life infinitely easier with your boss and family members. Don’t surprise your family with a workout on a Saturday morning when they may have planned for a family outing.
2. A set schedule is ALMOST everything. Have a set schedule but if you have to work out at 8 instead of 6, suck it up. There are 24 hours in a day. You can find an hour to put in the work.
3. An active family makes everything easier. If family time consists of hikes, sports, and being outdoors in general, then exercise becomes infinitely easier than if family time consists of TV and video games.
4. Always have a plan for a home workout. A home gym does not need to be complicated. Barbells are great if you have the space. If I have to work out at home, an indoor trainer with computer programs is safe and easier in diminishing evening light.
5. Work smarter! Let’s face it, the days of two-hour evening training sessions may be over. Time is money and you need to get the most bang for your buck. The standard evening work-out recipe of warm up / strength and skill / and cool down all within about an hour is usually going to get you the best return on your time investment. Save those longer workouts for the weekend adventures.
6. SET ELECTRONIC BOUNDARIES!!! Unless you work in a career field that includes you being on-call to save lives (Fireman, Police, Doctor, etc) ask yourself… “If I miss a call from the office in the next hour, will the world stop turning?” No one on their death bed ever said…”Man, I sure am glad I stopped being with my family or hanging with my nephews for an hour to take that call from the office.”
So that is all I have for you this week. Get to your local ride, turn your phone off, and CRUSH those pedals!
What helps you find that BALANCE?