At the end of the day, we're all striving for the same thing: we want to feel accomplished and fulfilled at work, while also feeling content with our home lives, including other things outside of work that nourish who we are.
It's a constant effort, and in fact, I don't really like to think of it as a balancing act at all. To me, it's about work-life harmony, which implies you're engaged in work and life at the rhythm that makes sense for you at any given time.
There is not a perfect formula for work-life harmony, everyone will be little different and need to customize what that means for them. I'm constantly learning and adjusting. Below, I'm sharing some resources I've picked up along the way, which help put things in perspective, provide inspiration in the areas where you might need it, or simply help cut out distractions so you can more easily focus.
- Simon Sinek's TEDx talk - In this talk, Sinek describes why it is so important for leaders to have a why and how important it is to have a purpose in life. Sinek's framework is transformative for helping you get at what's really important in your business and can be a game changer for helping you prioritize.
- Note to Self's Taking the Lead series - The WNYC podcast Note to Self did an excellent series last year about two working moms who are working to get an idea off the ground to solve work-life balance issues for parents. Along the way, they explore -- and provide ideas for -- improving work-life harmony.
- Digital distraction blockers - To set yourself up to achieve work-life harmony, it's critical that you focus in the moment, and that you're fully present on the task in front of you. Blocking websites that distract you or make you unproductive can be really helpful -- check out tools like Freedom or Cold Turkey for help.
- Practice a hobby (or mandate some fun in your life) - I've written before about why a well-chosen hobby is essential for work-life harmony. It will pull you away from work, give you time to recharge and use a different part of your brain. Most of us are so out of touch with what we naturally enjoy, so it can be hard to just pick a hobby. This Bustle article can help or maybe HobbyLark's list of 150+ hobbies can help you find a direction.
- Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert -- Sometimes you need a little nudge to get in touch with your creative side. The book Big Magic is just that with abundant inspiration and motivation.
- Quotes - At different times in our lives, a few simple words can really resonate and provide amazing motivation. I'm a big believer in organizing your physical space in a way that enhances productivity. Having a few go-to quotes is like the equivalent for your mental space. You can save these to your phone, pin them on the wall of your office or put them anywhere else that will help remind you of the person you want to be.
- Spotify playlists - Music can be a critical tool for helping you focus. Whether it's some light background music to help you power away at your laptop or the right tunes to get you through a tough workout, having a few solid playlists in your back pocket can be a powerful form of transportation for where you need to go. I have several go-to playlists for when I need music that's more calming or when I need to get energized. Spotify is great because you can access your music on any device, and share playlists with friends and colleagues.
I want to reiterate that this is an agile, lifelong journey. At times some of these tools are more helpful than others to me, and I suspect you'll find the same. Once you shift your reference from thinking of balancing your work and life in equal amounts to thinking about it as a harmony that is achieved over time, you'll have to shift the tools and resources you draw from to meet you where you're at in your life.