When I first dove into entrepreneurial life starting an e-commerce business, I had a full-time job, a family, friends and a long-distance girlfriend. Creating a work-life balance wasn't possible-- and I quickly learned it shouldn't have to be.
If you haven't realized it already, stop working towards a work-life balance because you are wasting your valuable energy.
Instead of building a life where you need to escape or balance your work, build a life where every day-- regardless of whether you are working or not-- is something you never want to escape or shift. Work towards creating a harmony of life, not work-life balance.
Here are three shifts you can take to create a harmonious life that doesn't require balance.
1. Realize pain is inevitable.
Many people are seeking work-life balance as a means to avoid or diminish discomfort or pain from their lives. But, whether you love your job, feel like it is controlling your life, or hate walking into the office every day, there is going to be some kind of pain tied to it.
The key is to make sure it is the kind of pain associated with growth. You want the growing pains, not the suffering pains. One of the best ways to manage this is to not fight what comes your way. If you are handed a large project or hit with a suddenly shifting deadlines that pull you away from something outside the office, make the decision to view this pain not as a negative impact on your "life" but as a learning opportunity.
When you can reduce this pain associated with work "controlling your life," you can instead control it, and allow it to accelerate your personal growth.
2. Allow the pendulum to swing and enjoy the ride.
Being an entrepreneur means there are going to be days, maybe even weeks, where all you do is work. The key here is to recognize that this isn't forever. There will come a moment when the pendulum swings and you can take days without working at all. When you know this, it is possible to view the days of work as a challenge to face head-on and pursue with excitement.
View your life as seasons, where sometimes it rains work, sometimes it snows family and sometimes the sun comes out and you can lie on a beach alone in reflection and relaxation. You can't have all three climates on the same day, and the sooner you realize this the quicker you will create harmony within each day you have.
3. Have clarity around your priorities.
Multitasking isn't completely possible. You can try to juggle two, maybe three things simultaneously but ultimately they will all fall down or won't be able to move any priority significantly forward. To make sure your life doesn't fall down, set priorities to guide your daily moments.
You will have to pick times when a relationship must take precedence over your business, and vice-versa. There will come times when you need to step away from the office to be a supportive partner, family member or friend. There also will come times when you need to put your business first.
The important point is to know what your overall life priorities are and work to find harmony with keeping the priorities straight. I found early on that communicating this prioritization is key to creating harmony within your relationships and within your business.
The struggle is guaranteed, success is not. You need to love what you do every day, at work, in family and with yourself.
When you create a life you don't want to escape you can live in harmony and never think twice about work-life balance.