Every year as the 1st of January rolls around, I find myself thinking about the new year of infinite possibilities. I look at my calendar already taking shape with speaking and writing engagements and a few items that I’m obligated to do (no matter how fun or how much I look forward to them) – there is a responsibility to be present and accountable. And yet the calendar still has vacant dates and weeks and I just know that I will be able to find some time this year to balance my wants and needs with both my professional and personal commitments.
But, as the month of January rolls through the calendar begins getting fuller and those blank dates are getting fewer and harder to find. I tell myself as a small business owner this is good and I remember the saying my dad told me many times growing up, “Make hay while the sun shines.”
While I appreciate my father’s wisdom, I have found, as with most things, it should be tempered with moderation. Which lead to my New Year’s Resolution for 2023. BALANCE between work and myself. I am beginning to recognize the need for time in which I am not committed to anyone or anything else.
As I first weighed this new idea, I felt somewhat selfish or spoiled. However, I quickly realized that I was not thinking about taking every day just for me (remember moderation), I was talking about balancing those workdays on the calendar with a day for me – to reinvigorate and reconnect. So, I blocked out four days on the calendar for the month of January to see how this time would feel to me.
It was difficult! It left me feeling unbalanced. As I would find myself on those “my days” walking passed the office and thinking I could just slide in there and do a couple of things and refrained from doing so. I wasn’t quite realizing that true balance would allow me to do both.
As I reviewed January’s calendar, I noticed one week, I drove 5-hours the day before a presentation, spoke for 1 hour then drove the 5-hours home, so that I could be on a flight the next morning, to where I landed, picked up a rental car, and then drove 2 hours to present a training the next day. The 6 hours flew by and then I drove the 2 hours back to the airport where I flew home.
Quite the hectic 4-day period and not what I would call balanced.
Using that week as my frame of reference, for February, I am vowing to listen to my head, heart, and body to decide what will be a more balanced approach. Knowing I can’t make more time, I am determined to discover a method on how I can use the time I have more effectively.
I suggest you reevaluate your own time management and strategies for prioritizing. Consider asking yourself these questions:
- What can you do to find balance in your own life?
- Are there things you do because you think you are expected to do, that you can step away from?
- Can you share duties and responsibilities with someone else, or can you delegate work?
One thing I am certain of – unless we decide that “balance” is a priority, we won’t have it.
About the Expert
Cheryl Grazier is the Principal of Cheryl Grazier Consulting LLC and has over 20 years of business experience in both the public and private sector as a trusted advisor in the areas of culture change, strategy implementation, program management, team and leadership development. Cheryl has worked in a variety of industries, including communications, government agencies, governmental contracting, and real estate.
She is particularly passionate about developing people skills and leadership capabilities for individuals.
- Cheryl holds a Master of Science in Instructional Design from Walden University and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Missouri – Columbia.
- She also holds several industry certifications including MBTI, DiSC, and FIRO-B.