I am aiming for a more peaceful year and I truly believe I’m going to achieve this but I can’t say it will be a so called “balanced year”. With the decisions I’ve made thus far in the New Year, I’m off to a very excellent start. I, however, don’t have balance. I used to always strive for a balance between family and work time and this year I’ve come to a realization that I like not having a balance.
Sounds weird, I know.
Here me out. Balance implies that from this time-to-this time I will only be doing one thing. I’ll start work at exactly 8 am, for example, and be done at 5 pm Except, I am a work from home business owner, consultant and mom and I’m an entrepreneur that strives to set my own schedule so that I don’t have to be on a “set schedule”. My son might forget his shoes at school and I’ll need to run them to him. I’m okay with this; I don’t need to ask my supervisor’s permission to leave the office. I just need to make sure the dog is in her crate! My daughter might obsess about her Band-Aid on her hurt finger and if the school office calls me, I can go! I might start work at 5 am in peace and quiet with my coffee, take the kids to school, work some more and then feel the need to go for a 5 mile walk and workout at 10 am. If my work schedule is clear with no calls, my deadlines are spot on and I’m free then I embrace this 5 mile walk, come home sweaty and do a post-walk workout and maybe I get in a hot shower and maybe I prepare for a call and take a shower later.
Creative People Cannot Be Put Into a Box
If I feel like writing a blog post at 9 pm and the kids are in bed I can’t adhere to a NO computer rule or Internet rule after a certain time, I have an idea I need to write! I have great ideas often later at night and working in multiple time zones makes the flexibility of my work, schedule imperative. Twitter parties are at all time zones and so are my meetings. This works for me because I don’t mind staying up later if it will give me the flexibility during the daylight hours that I need. In fact I love my work and most of the time it doesn’t seem like work so checking my inbox at night, usually, is not something I dread. Writing a blog post about something I’m passionate about isn’t a chore.
Flexibility is the Key
I’ve tried the balance stuff but really it doesn’t work for me because is there really a balance? How about flexibility verses balance? Being able to bend to different schedules, stuff that “comes up” and the unpredictable is much more important to me. It’s one of the reasons I wanted to work from home, I wanted to be here for my sick kids and still be available to work. I wanted to work late and sleep-in if my kids had holiday. I wanted to make my own schedule but still work, be a mom and have a business. Having children doesn’t lead for a predictable life and we’ll I like having a schedule of when they go to school, eat dinner, go to bed and so forth but I have to be ready for the unexpected and still work.
I work from my Smartphone(s) because yes I have more than one. I work from the laptop via the kitchen counter, living room couch, my office, the car, the airport, on vacation (yes vacation because I don’t lie), coffee shop and many, many other places. I love this flexibility and I enjoy it. Who else can work from a campsite while the kids run around and play in the woods? This to me is the best of both worlds and I’m finally ready to embrace it, not fight for achieving something I actually already have.
I thought I needed to strive for a balance and I’ve written about this before and I’ve read a million articles or so it might seem but really what I’ve been seeking to achieve and what I’ve very successfully achieved is flexibility. I can work from anywhere. I CAN and do bend to the different demands of my life and a client’s schedule, demands and deadlines.
So tell me, do you really strive for balance or is it flexibility you desire? Think about it.