I get asked this question all the time. To be honest: I haven’t found the complete answer, but from a business perspective, here’s what I know to be true: balance is a myth. Juggling is the key – and here are my top three tips for keeping those balls in the air.
If you’re trying to juggle a billion balls, you are going to drop one. Likewise, if you’re trying to do everything, then something is going to have to give: it could be forgetting to make it to your daughter’s second immunization appointment (I’ve been there!) or something more intangible but important – like you’re health or stress levels. Get clear – brutally clear – with what’s important and then doggedly focus only on those things.
2. Learn to say no
If you’ve got all the balls in the air and you’re juggling away and then someone asks you to juggle a few more things,don’t – especially if those balls aren’t important (see point #1). If you do, either you’ll need to stop your momentum to add in those extra balls, or if you don’t stop and just add in those extra balls, you are most certainly going to drop one – or you’ll find yourself struggling to juggle everything all at once. Saying no can be hard – really hard. You might pass up on a shiny opportunity. You might even have your friends get a bit peeved about it, but it means saying yes to what’s important to you.
3. Hire help
I don’t mean just ask for help. I mean hire help. If you want to be truly successful in business, you need people. People make up businesses. As the leader of your business, what’s the best use of your time? Mucking around with your web site or figuring out how to complete a mail merge in Microsoft Word? I bet it’s spending time on the strategy and business development of your company – and if you’re a small business just starting out, you are probably the best and only person who can do that.