Here it is: Balance is a myth. Shifting isn’t.
When you talk about balance, suddenly you’re also talking about multitasking. The act of balancing requires at least two things to be in play, and so focus is split between those things. The more things in play, the more the focus is split.
And the more that happens, the likelihood of all of the things suffering in terms of quality grows.
I don’t even try to deal in balancing acts anymore. For a while, that was a problem as I was singularly focused on work. But because I was fully aware I wasn’t spending enough time on other areas of my life, I was able to shift focus to them more often because I wasn’t trying to do work and the other things at the same time.
The same principles apply on a more granular level. When I’m in “work mode”, I shift from workspace to workspace (not physical ones, per se, but areas nonetheless) so that I can produce at an optimum level on each area. Right now I am working solely on my own writing. Then later I’ll move to another specific workspace, and so on. I’m shifting, meaning that my “thing” is planted on solid footing as I take them on, as opposed to balancing, where my “things” are being juggled as I take them on.
Things rarely get dropped when you shift. They run a higher risk of dropping when you try to balance.
Want to get improved results — and in most cases, more results? Focus on shifting, not on balancing. It’s simply the “more better” way.
On that note…it’s time for me to shift into “family mode”.
Photo credit: woooody (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)