By Lynne Golodner
As an entrepreneurial working mother of four teenagers, I yearn for balance. To me, that means time for myself, time for my family uninterrupted by work, and adequate time to devote to my clients, so everyone is happy. Including me.
But that doesn’t always happen! In fact, I’ve come to realize that balance is more an illusion than a reality. What true balance means is that at times, I am fully immersed in my family, while at other times, I am all-work-all-the-time. Oh, and the time for me, yeah that comes too.
Balance comes from building in time for everything, in its own time, and fully immersing in where you are at this moment.
As a company, we spend a lot of time planning and producing for our clients. But we also spend time together getting to know one another, having fun, enjoying the unique talents and interests of the individuals who make up this team.
We plan quarterly team outings to get away from the office and make sure we are connected as fully as we can be. We also devote this time to recognizing that each of us is a human being, with individual interests outside of work.
Outings don’t have to be big-ticket trips to the Bahamas or week-long cruises. They can be simple to be effective. For instance, in the last quarter of 2018, we went to yoga together and then had a delicious brunch at a local foodie favorite. A couple of hours was all it took for us to feel appreciative of one another as people.
This idea of reconnection is important for us as individuals, too, something we need to achieve in our own time. We can’t always be “on” – as workers or as family members. Alone time to unwind and reconnect with our soul voice is essential to long-term happiness, productivity, and life satisfaction.
For me, that comes in bits and pieces. A 15-minute meditation after the kids have left for school. Writing three pages in my journal in the morning to get all of the angst out so I can be clear for the day ahead. A 30-minute walk in the cold sunshine, stepping away briefly from the pace and the demands of constant work (which never ends, by the way!).
I make two to-do lists – one is long and contains everything, for us and for clients, so I don’t forget what’s on tap. The other is short, on a small notepad beside my keyboard, and it’s what I intend to accomplish today only. I check off in ink every task as I complete it, and the psychology shows that this sends waves of feel-good endorphins, motivating us onward to do more.
I also take time for me. Sometimes that means turning off my phone. I wish it were more. (Check out this stunning video on why we should all leave our phones behind at times.)
I hike the green hills not far from where I live and notice birds careening low over shallow water. I find I remember my inner voice, and trust it, when there are no manmade distractions. I am clearer, more inspired, more successful when I have time away from all the demands of the day.
And something so important to remember, which we include as part of our raison d’etre in this business, is that real success comes from human interaction. Building mutually beneficial relationships is a core value of our business approach, but it is the truth of that connection that drives everything we do.
When two people meet over shared values, aligned purpose, and a true desire to do good, while doing well, great things happen. Apply that approach to the work you do and you’ll find it’s more purpose-driven, and more successful, too.
Sometimes we have to go away to come back. We have to step outside of the hamster-wheel of our lives to gain clarity and perspective. In order to win, we have to hang back just a little, to taste the sweet nectar of hesitation and pause, in order to push forward toward the finish line.
Lynne Golodner is Chief Creative Officer/founder of Your People LLC and a Fulbright Specialist focused on how people come together over shared story to find common purpose.