The Pursuit of Life Balance

Life BalanceWhen did it become so difficult to juggle so many things and have a balanced life? Somehow it seemed so much easier when the world was less accessible with technology like it is today.  I remember the days of waiting at a red traffic light and drumming my fingers on the wheel in time to whatever song was playing. Why do I now use these transport standstills as an excuse to check my phone’s emails and messages?

In order to continue doing what I love the most in the world, I find that having parameters at the start and finish of each day certainly helps. Many people call them boundaries. I prefer to call them edges; the word seems friendlier, accessible and even a little more flexible somehow.

Getting up by a certain time, starting work at a specific point and then most importantly having a set time to end the day means I’m less likely to feel overwhelmed and more likely to achieve my goals. Is it foolproof? Sadly, no.  Do I get tested? Yes, everyday.  

As a yoga teacher and kinesiologist, I teach many of my classes and see many of my clients after hours. It is for this very reason that I even entertained the concept of managing my time effectively. Am I rigid with my daily routine? No. Every day is different and it is for this reason that I need to have a structure in place in order to get the most out of my day, but more importantly my life.

It started with me being honest about my needs. My daily morning meditation is not negotiable. These days, neither is my afternoon one. My practice sets the scene for the rest of the day by helping to clear out the clutter in my mind from the day before and to set an intention for the day that is positive, upbeat and calm.

So how do we manage our needs when photos of us are uploaded on Facebook before we’ve even left the party? How do we switch off our phones now that we use them to be social? How do we stop working when so much of our networking happens after hours?

I attended a friend’s housewarming a few weekends ago. In the spirit of being inclusive, she had invited her close friends as well as her new neighbours to get together over a bbq and a few drinks.  I watched with curiosity when one neighbour took particular interest in the fact that she owned a yoga studio and proceeded to quiz her incessantly about her classes.

My friend responded to his first few questions quite graciously and suggested that he might also like to have a look at the timetable. Like a dog with a bone he followed her around asking relentless questions oblivious to the fact that she was the hostess attending to her many guests on a Sunday – her only day off incidentally.

How do we balance our work and personal life? Often the boundaries we set for ourselves aren’t necessarily the boundaries that are echoed by others. A sacred day off for us is an opportunity to learn about an important topic and life-changing event by someone else as illustrated by the example above.

How do you respond to work related questions when you’re out? Does the act of saying, “That’s a work related question that I can answer during the week, here’s my email address that you’re welcome to contact me on” work for you? If not, what does?

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  1. Hello Patty,

    I really liked your comments on life balance and I trust you don’t mind that I shared this post with a couple of my groups etc on LinkedIn.



  2. Julianne Davies says:

    Patty, I really enjoyed reading your article and you make an excellent point. We must set the boundaries between work and personal life. I have always believed (not always practiced) that if others are to respect our time we must value our time as well and not allow the wants and needs to derail us.

    I really like your response to “work related” questions when you are enjoying the company of friends on your day off.. I plan to put this in practice when the need arises!


    • HI Julz! Its an ongoing thing and I always seem to get tested! Just the other day after a camping trip with friends, a friend’s flatmate decided he wanted to have a discussion on his views of yoga classes (!?) I wasn’t as graceful as I would have liked to have been had I not been so tired and hungry but alas – the conversation may have been fodder for a future blog post! :))

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