The Key To Finding Balance
I’m super excited to dive into this topic because I’m often asked how I balance everything so well. But what’s funny is how people assume I do it well haha.
I will say, I am very intentional about how I spend my time and how I prioritize the things that matter the most which helps with finding balance, but I’m human ya’ll, even I struggle!
With that being said, I am also here to help and I have some helpful tips to help you with finding balance.
Dre and I created what we call the 4 F’s (fitness, family, finances, and faith). It’s the 4 things that we focus on in order to establish balance in our lives and in our relationships.
Let’s talk about each one in detail:
1. Fitness: this refers to physical health and wellness
Whether you are a CEO or just a go-getter at work, it's easy to let things like exercise and diet go by the wayside once things get busy in the office. But your body is the only one you get and you have to take of it. Without your health, you’re unable to do the work that pays your bills or live long enough to see your grandbabies. That's why it's critical to continue to keep your body strong and healthy enough to enable you to do the things that excite you and keep you enjoying life. The key here is to be fit enough that you don't have to say "no" to anything you want to do.
Take a moment and write your thoughts about your health and wellness. How is your eating? How often are you active? How does your body feel?
See where there is room for improvement and start making slow and realistic changes to increase your health.
Feeling better and looking better will help make you feel like you have more balance. This may mean you need to meal prep, join a gym or start walking on your lunch break. Whatever it looks likes for you, start to make those changes little by little and see how much of a difference you feel.
2. Family: this also includes friends and your spouse
How balanced do you feel with your family & friend time? What's your relationship like with your spouse? Your kids? How about your parents and extended family members? Your relationships should be important no matter how busy things get at work. If you feel like you’re lacking here, it's worth hitting the pause button to make the investment in repairing these relationships. Family and friends are truly a part of your support system and you'll never miss them more than when you're at your lowest point.
Having people around you that you like and trust is one of the best indicators of living a long life. If you are sacrificing relationships like these because you're working too hard, you're clearly not in balance.
It’s important though to not overextend yourself either. We all have a lot of family and friends, you can’t speak to everybody every day so it’s crucial that you prioritize the relationships that you have and be intentional with each person in a way that makes sense for that particular relationship.
3. Finances: this refers to whatever you do to make an income and how you budget your money.
Even though making money is important, it is not everything. Creating boundaries for how much time you spend working or making money is such as important as managing the money you’re making.
Dre and I have cut off times for when we stop working and spend quality time with each other. Whether you’re in a relationship or not, a cut off time from work is important because you need to recharge in order to work at your fullest potential.
Whether you are running your own business or climbing the corporate ladder, ask yourself how energized you are to go into work every day. Are you excited to be making a difference and making progress-or do you dread the monotony of your day-to-day drag? Or, if you own your own business, how are things going: Are revenues and profits growing?
The next question is, “what does your personal financial balance sheet look like?” Are you on a path to accumulate enough wealth that you will be able to enjoy a comfortable retirement? Do you even have a retirement plan? What’s in your savings account? What is your monthly budget? Are you in debt and do you have a plan for paying it off?
These are all important questions to ask yourself. The key to personal financial health is to feel in control and know that you have enough money to have options. If you're working too much, and you don't have the money you need, something is clearly missing in the equation.
The final aspect of living a balanced life is your spiritual side. This could be anything from taking a walk in the woods to making a trip to church on Sunday-whatever fills up your spiritual cup. This is how we renew ourselves when we're down and it's something that can be easily neglected. Make the time to rethink your connection to God, nature, or whatever it is you believe in.
If you focus on these 4 F’s you will be able to start organizing the different areas in your life in efforts to begin to find balance!
I wanted to share some other random tips that come to mind when I think of balance:
1. Quit Trying to Multi-Task
If you want “balance” why are you trying to do multiple things at once? Stop that right now! If you are somebody who claims to be a “great multi-tasker,” I would simply say, that if you’re a great multi-tasker, imagine how great you would be if you focused on one thing at a time. We need to stop trying to be everything for everybody, and be great at one thing at a time. Multi-tasking realistically limits our production and reduces our capabilities.
I used to LOVE multitasking. I thought to do more at one time, meant I was being productive. But as I got more and more into entrepreneurship, I realized all I was doing was working hard, not smart. Because all the multi-tasking did was have me give a portion of my best to a lot versus giving my best to when things at a time.
Even now when I attempt to multitask, whether I have on an episode playing in the background while working on something or working on projects in between calls, it forces me to make mistakes that I normally wouldn’t make if I were completely focusing on 1 thing at a time.
2. Shut it Down
When your workday is over, let it be over; shut it down and leave or if you work from home like me, shut it down and leave the laptop in the other room haha! If you are working crazy hours every day, you will never establish a work-life balance. Become more intentional during your normal work hours to accomplish your “must-do tasks,” and if you don’t get to the other items on your to-do list, they can wait until tomorrow. If something absolutely cannot wait, make arrangements to stay late to complete it; however, this should never turn into the “norm.”
I use “Trello” to organize and create my daily to-do lists and if 7pm comes and I haven’t completed things on my list, I drag them over to the next day. If I get to Friday and have too much on my plate to complete everything by 7pm, I either work late Friday or make Saturday a work day. This makes me motivated during the week to work more strategically and complete everything on time so that I can enjoy my weekend.
So come up with a system that works for you. But if you don’t obey your own boundaries, how will you ever accomplish balance?
3. Give Your Best at Home
Plenty of people desire a healthy work-life balance, yet as soon as they get home, they crash. If you are giving your family or spouse your “leftovers” at the end of each day, eventually, that’s exactly what you’ll get in return. Instead, do whatever you need to do to “recharge your battery,” then give them your absolute best; they deserve it, and so do you!
And if you don’t have a family or spouse, this applies to friends as well.
4. Be Absolutely Present!
I believe it all comes down to this one “tip.” This tip is similar to “stop multi-tasking,” however, it puts more emphasis on the individual event or task. Whatever you are doing, or whoever you are doing it with, be absolutely present… give it or them your complete attention and be fully present!
If you are working on a project at work, give it your all; if you are at home with your family, give them all of your focus; if you are out to dinner, put away the cell phones, and give the people you are with your full attention; if you are volunteering in your community, serve them with everything you have, and don’t be distracted!
All too often, our lives are out of balance because we get preoccupied with so many distractions; we lose focus on what’s right in front of us. If you really want a better balance in your life, start being absolutely, totally present wherever you are. You’ll be amazed at how your life will instantly change!
5. Set Boundaries
For many people, it can be difficult to know how to set boundaries or say "no" to others. This can be especially challenging for those who self-identify as people-pleasers. There are tons of articles, books, and talks on the power of "yes." Of course, there are many times when saying "yes" is a great thing! But learning how to set boundaries and how to say "no" is the key to sustaining a healthy relationship with yourself and others.
When we say "yes" to everything and do not set boundaries with people, we often feel stressed, overwhelmed, and burned out. Most of us want to be well-liked and to please other people. It can be difficult to turn down opportunities or requests that others have made of us.
So overall ladies, determine what things in your life are a priority, schedule out the necessary time to each of those things and set boundaries so that your plate is never too full. The moment you overwhelm yourself with things, you become a disservice to the people around you and most importantly, yourself.
I hope this tips help! Make sure to leave a review or DM me @breannaaponte if you have a topic discussion for an upcoming episode!
It’s a pleasure serving you, and until next time, be shameless!