How do you build a life that’s fulfilling in all areas of it? A life with work success, fulfilling relationships, good health, and time to check off your bucket list? The short answer is you create work-life harmony [not balance]. This is the idea that over a period of time, you feel successful in all areas of your life.
And it’s tough...
Each life area has different demands, and your time is finite. What’s more, we live in a society that’s obsessed with work/business success. This means our ‘day job’ is often the focus of our greatest attention (while everything else gets the left-overs). This strategy works for a while, but in time it creates burnout, stress, and even resentment.
So how do you ‘have it all’?
The good news is you CAN! I’ll show you how in this article, so keep reading!
1. Define work-life harmony for you
Work-life harmony means something different and looks something different for everyone. For sure, you can be inspired by other people, but don’t benchmark your success against theirs. Instead, benchmark against yourself.
Here’s how to do it…
a. Make a list of all the areas of your life that are important to you. For example, work/business/career, relationships, finances, health, wellbeing etc.
b. Rate your success in each of area where 0 is low and 10 is high.
c. Write a few sentences to explain your score for each area.
Your score gives you a quantitative baseline to work from. It’s your start point and a measure you can use to assess how your degree of harmony improves over time.
Ready to create your baseline?
If so, take the BestSelf Benchmark Quiz today and generate your BestSelf Score.
2. Define what a 10 looks like for you
Once you’ve scored your current work-life harmony, the next step is to define what a ‘10’ [or your ‘BestSelf’] looks like for you. For sure, this definition will change over time as you grow and evolve, but for now, get clear on what your best looks like today:
When you understand what a ten is for you, it’s easier to figure out what targets, goals, and tweaks you need to work towards to achieve harmony.
3. Know what’s achievable for your life
Increasing your work-life harmony score isn’t an overnight project! Instead, it takes time and consistent daily effort. If there’s a lot you want to do, you can avoid overwhelm by prioritizing your actions.
Remember, you don’t have to change everything at once, but you can change everything by doubling-down on the right actions. What’s more, you don’t have to focus on big actions only. There are lots of 10-15 minute daily rituals you can implement that could make a world of difference discover them here.
To decide where to put your focus, ask yourself, which actions will make the biggest impact on your work-life harmony score? Prioritize these actions first.
Don’t be surprised if you’re drawn to work on unexpected areas as your top priority. For example, you may want to build your business, but you’ll find it harder to succeed if your health is poor or your relationships are neglected. There’s a good chance these areas might top your list!
4. Remember to plan for harmony, NOT balance
Time is your most valuable resource. To paraphrase Jim Rohn, you can always make more money, but you can’t make more time. Work-life harmony is dependent on how you budget and use your minutes over time.
You don’t need to achieve work-life balance everyday. This isn’t an achievable goal. There are going to be days when work takes everything. For example, when you’re in the middle of a launch or when you’re solving a crisis. Similarly, there will be times when your relationship takes all you’ve got. For example, when it’s your partner’s birthday or when you’re on vacation.
Instead, aim to create work-life harmony over time. In reality, this means:
In other words, worry less about the individual days and more about how things look over the course of a year, a month, and even a week.
5. Plan the bigger picture
It’s easy to plan time for your career, work, or business. We live in a society that celebrates hard work! But is a career really successful if it means you have to sacrifice fulfilment in other areas of your life? Is that bigger business, top promotion, or million-dollar side hustle worth losing your health, your relationships, or your fun?
The reality is you CAN have it all, if you plan it.
Remember, what gets planned, gets done. If your calendars, planners, and schedules are full of work to-dos and commitments, that’s what you’ll accomplish. But add in bucket list items, date nights, work outs, family time, vacations etc. and you’ll create a richer life as a result.
Use a wall calendar to explore what work-life harmony will look like over a year. For example:
Use a monthly planner to decide what work-life harmony looks like this month?
Use a tool such as the Weekly Action Plan to decide what work-life harmony will look like this week?
6. Plan your day
You can’t get more time, but you can create the illusion of having enough time. This is the power of granular daily planning. Instead of a to-do list, schedule each task to a specific time window - in the same way you would an appointment.
With this strategy, you can use deadlines to inspire yourself to stay focus and finish up quicker. In short, you’ll have more time to use for other things.
With more time to play with, you can plan your day for work-life harmony too. Instead of having a timeline that’s rammed full with work to-dos, you can plan for other tasks and activities to increase fulfillment in areas that currently get less. For example:
With every minute used wisely, you can do more with less!
And if you’re looking for a tool to help you do this, check out the Self Planner.
Start to create your work-life harmony today
Work-life harmony does take time and focus. When work pays the bills, it’s inevitable these demands will take your time and attention. But you can ensure every area of your life continues to improve when you plan for work-life harmony.
And you can start that today.
Remember, what gets planned gets done.
Expand your planning to include ALL life areas. Include relationship, health, financial, fun, and wellbeing goals into your planning rituals. When everything from every area of your life is planned, it’s inevitable your benchmark score will increase.
Over to you…
How can you tweak your monthly, weekly, and daily plans to create more harmony? Let us know in the comments below.