Hot Tips on How to Negotiate Time & Balance in Your Life Part I

Do you feel like you have achieved balance in your life? If you’re like most people, this is probably an area where you struggle. Balance often seems elusive, and it can feel like there’s never enough time. Sound familiar? If so, stay tuned for some insights on how to better achieve balance and harmony so you can focus on the things that matter most to you. The key is to get intentional and negotiate this time and balance. Don’t fret if that sounds unfamiliar. I’ll walk you through it. In this series, we’ll address a few game-changing strategies you can invoke to introduce more balance in your life. 

Who you need to negotiate balance with?

The starting point is negotiating with yourself. Sadly, that’s the ‘who’ that's most often overlooked. You need to believe you deserve balance in your life. It’s critical to dig deep and do the inner work to recognize and own your internal value. Push past blocks that have you believing you don't deserve and/or that you need to be superwoman (taking care of everything for everyone except yourself).

Recognize that we sometimes use time as an excuse to protect ourselves from doing things that scare us or where there’s internal blocks or resistance. The danger of using these excuses is that we start to believe the lies and they become insidious limiting beliefs that hold us back. 

Get comfortable negotiating your mindset. You can choose whether to approach life with a scarcity or abundance mindset. Most people think of these concepts in the context of money, but they also apply to time. You have all the time in the world. We all have the same 1440 minutes each day. You get to choose how you use them. [We’ll be digging deeper into priorities and other time management strategies later in this series.]

We’re all here on this earth to live the life of our dreams. If not now, when?  What is your relationship to time? Decide what you want it to be. 

After you've done the inner work and negotiated with yourself, turn your attention to those you work with. Let's face it, we spend a lot of our waking hour at work, so this is definitely a key area where you’ll want to negotiate boundaries to make sure you have balance. 

Also consider friends and family who are probably used to you jumping in and handling everything. It takes intention to break those old patterns. 

Is there such a thing as work-life balance?

There's a lot of talk now that there's no such thing as a work-life balance. That it's a myth. I don't accept that. Rather, instead of seeing it as some idealized state that you aspire to, I invite you to think of balance as a verb i.e. where you're actively balancing your life every day in every moment and every decision you make. 

I think that approach helps us take more accountability and responsibility for having balance in our life rather than a ‘one day’ mindset, where you dream there’s some elusive nirvana state that you may be able to achieve one day and once you get it, you've got it for good. Balance takes ongoing intention. That’s why I like the idea of thinking about balance as a verb, where you’re intentional about how you engage in your personal balancing act.

Let’s dig in to some simple strategies you can adopt to start achieving greater balance: 

I   You Get What You Tolerate in Life

One starting point self-reflection about your tolerances. Recognize what you are currently tolerating in your life that perhaps you ought not. What habits and patterns are you creating that do not serve you? Much of our time is dedicated to people and things that do not serve us or our vision. Getting balance starts with recognizing those tolerances we’ve become accustomed to that interfere with the highest and best use of our time. 

I invite you to start with a consideration of what you are tolerating of yourself. In what areas of your life have you settled for mediocrity? What stories have you been telling yourself that hold you back from stepping into the full force of your power? What limiting beliefs have you bought into that have you feeling unentitled? Are you blocking yourself from receiving? Does fear stop you from setting boundaries?   

Once you’ve explored tolerances you need to change for yourself, then expand the lens to consider what you’re tolerating of other people in your life that perhaps you ought to reexamine? What expectations have you created in your relationships that interfere with your ability to achieve balance? 

If you want to dig deeper on this issue, check out my article You Get What You Tolerate

II  Just Say ‘No’

Learning to say no is a key skill in maintaining balance in your life. It's important to teach yourself to get comfortable with the word no, because every time you say yes to one thing (to one engagement, to one appointment, to one task, to one favour) that means you’re saying no to something else. 

As noted above, we all have the same 1440 minutes in every day. You have control over how you spend those minutes. Every time you say yes to something you don't really feel like doing and/or that doesn't serve you, you’re actually taking that time away from something else you could be doing that may better serve you in moving towards your personal goals, instead of taking care of everyone else's.

When you learn the power of a positive no, you start the path to increased balance in your life. 

As women in particular, ‘no’ is a word we often fear and resist. If you have resistance to saying ‘no’, I invite you to desensitize yourself to the word, get rid of the fear and the angst that's associated with the word ‘no’.

For that reason, I loved Andrea Waltz and Richard Fenton's book Go for No. They suggest a simple process where you actively ‘go for no’. Let’s say you're in sales, for example, and you need to hit a target of 10 sales/day. If you know your conversion rate is 10% (i.e. you're going to have to ask 100 people to get those 10 sales) then instead of thinking, "I need 10 yeses," instead think, “I’m going for 100 no’s." And so starts the loss of inhibitions around the word. 

For a deeper dive on the idea, check out my article Overcoming Fear of Negotiation by Going For No. 

III   Finding Purpose

If you want to fast-track your path to balance, find purpose. I'm the founder of Women on Purpose. I feel passionately about helping people find their purpose. That mission started me down this journey to help people negotiate their best life. And I invite you to do that. Do what you love, love what you do. 

Rediscover and tap into your unique gift so you live into your purpose every day. This allows you to find that seemingly elusive balance. 

This is one of the reasons we created our Purpose Planner. It was total passion project. This is not your typical ‘to do’ planner. Instead, every day it inspires you to design the life you deserve, prioritizing what’s most important and moving towards living a more purposeful life. 

If you've never looked at our Purpose Planner, I encourage you to check it out. It is worth the investment to live your best life more intentionally.

Be sure to join us for next week’s instalment in this series as we continue with life-altering simple strategies to negotiate balance in your life.

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Are You Ready to Live Your Life on Purpose and Fully With Purpose?

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Tags

Balance, choice, empowerment, intention, Say no, strategy


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