There are certain times of the year that keeping a balance between my studio & personal life seems almost impossible. Between registration, recital & end of year projects, creating balance is a challenge. Good thing I like a challenge.
5 Ways to create balance
Below are 5 ways you can create balance for yourself … even when your studio (or personal life) is extra busy.
This too shall pass
Remind yourself that there is an ebb & flow to running a business. There will be times when you have to focus more on the studio. That can’t be avoided. But what you CAN do is create segments of time before or after those busy times.
Creating balance isn’t about perfect balance every day.
This idea just doesn’t fit with the majority of people’s reality.
Creating balance is about looking at the overall picture.
Every year I know that I will need to put extra time into my business for re-registration & the recital (over a 2-month period). But once that recital is done … all my guys know that this mommy will be taking a break. They are in charge of dinner, my husband knows he will be listening to me reflect on how everything went, & my boys know that mommy may just want some video game time to chill out … after I get hugs, of course. And since I know my students are going to feel much the same way, the first lesson after recital is about reflection (what went well, what would they change) & activities that required zero practice.
If you are going through a busy season right now (whether in your studio or personal life), look at how you can create balance through planned downtime when this project or event is done.
Downtime doesn’t necessarily mean no work. It could be taking a step back from certain things & using that time for something or someone you love.
Make time for your joy
Marie Kondo’s approach to organization has struck a chord for many people. Instead of focusing on what needs to be taken away, the focus is about keeping what brings you joy.
Imagine what that would look like in terms of how you spend your time.
There are some tasks (like bookkeeping & taxes) that you may not enjoy, but need to be done. But, those tasks shouldn’t take up the majority of our time. They are the ones that rob us of our creativity & our joy.
I LOVE to read books. Whether it is at breakfast (while listening to my kids talk about video games or comics in the background), before bed (as I read the funny parts to my husband), or little moments throughout the day, reading is something I make time for. It helps me create balance in those micro-moments.
What is something that brings YOU joy?
How can you create micro-moments that allow you to enjoy that time?
Even 5-minute segments can make a huge difference. A little bit of time is better than no time.
Change something small
At one point I found myself sleeping through my alarm. Even with going to bed earlier, it just wasn’t getting better. Until I changed the alarm sound.
Canadian winters tend to be cold & dark … especially in the mornings. And, it can be hard to face the day with enthusiasm when you just want to stay huddled under the warm covers. Know what I mean?
So, I changed my alarm to this …
I don’t know about you, but it became impossible for me to NOT think it was a beautiful morning when I heard this Every. Single. Morning. Even when it was still dark out.
What is a small change that will make to your day better?
Remember this doesn’t need to be a huge change. Even something small makes a difference over the long term.
Take Care of Yourself
I used to go to yoga classes once a week. Until winter hit & just couldn’t get motivated to get in a cold car to travel to the yoga studio. So, I had to make a change.
As easy as it would be to pour ourselves into our teaching & students, this leads to burn-out.
Take care of yourself FIRST so you have the energy to take care of others.
Maybe you don’t have time to go for an hour-long walk or run. But you may have time to meet the kids on the way home from school, get the mail, or go around the block. Or, maybe you could do stretches while watching your favourite tv show.
And, when things just don’t seem to be moving forward …
THIS is the song that reminds me that everything will work out.
Know What is Important to You
I would argue that this may very well be the MOST important step to create balance.
Without knowing your priorities & what (or who) is important to you, making choices in how you create balance becomes so much harder.
Over the years, I’ve learnt the value of checking my studio policies against what I know is important to me. Am I able to see my kids off to school & greet them when they get home? Do I get quality time with my husband before bed? Is there time for me to practice piano & compose? And, are any of my policies taking away time or energy from those priorities? The early years when I didn’t check created a disconnect between my ideal life and actual life.
Studio policies should reflect your priorities, not only in your studio but in your personal life as well. Creating balance involves studio policies that create win-win solutions for you & your clients. And, yes. This is possible!
Creating balance is about small steps
The balance I’ve created today has been about small steps. There have been times that everything was completely balanced … & other times when I looked around wondering how it was possible so much mess was created by all those plates falling down around me.
Those first years of my business are a little like that first year of being a mom. I have memories spread throughout the year, but really it’s a bit of a blur. Lack of sleep. Wondering if I was doing the right thing. Wondering if there WAS a right way to do things. (Spoiler alert: There is more than one way.)
Fast-forward several years and things are much different. As my kids grow up, my available time & energy to put into my businesses have increased. And, all those “mistakes” have helped me create a career that is tailor-made for me. It won’t be perfect for others, but the balance I have now is a reflection of what is truly important to me.
Each quarter & each year I look back over the previous months to see what went well, what needs to change & what I want to build upon. This is both in my work & personal life. Making that time has been an absolute game-changer. Creating balance is about small steps. Those small steps become habits & lead to incredible gains over the long term.
As you are creating balance, what is one small change you can make?
NOTE: This article was originally published on April 19, 2019. While it’s been updated, don’t worry … all the good stuff is still there!