Reframing work-life-family Balance to Blend - FREE recipe and workbookMar 16, 2022
Hands up if that's ever felt hard!!! (my hand’s up) In today’s blog, we are going to shift that thinking from balance to blend.
This is an area I teach a lot because one of the things I hear most often is “I don’t have time for …. “ Yes, you do. You just can’t see it yet because your black and white calendar filled with words makes it hard to see what’s really happening with your time.
I was preparing to teach a time management course a few years ago and decided to complete a visual calendar as an example. I was stunned to see how much time I was working.
That’s my racket…. Working too much.
But that might not be your racket. Maybe your racket is numbing out by scrolling. Or watching Netflix for hours. Or spending time doing things that aren’t really aligned with what you value.
No judgement. There’s no shame here. But I do have something that can help because it engages the creative part of your brain. A visual color-coded calendar.
A visual color-coded calendar can help take the emotion out because it’s so easy to see what’s really happening with your time. Here’s how.
Imagine getting ready to make a smoothie in the morning.
You gather your ingredients onto the counter and begin to measure them out. Here’s a recipe for the smoothie that serves two.
One cup frozen blueberries
½ cup frozen cherries
Handful of spinach
One cup of almond milk (or more depending on the texture you like)
a dash of cinnamon
1 tbsp hemp hearts
1 tbsp flax meal.
Blend for two minutes and serve immediately. Serves two.
Sound good? It is. In fact, it’s my favorite smoothie recipe.
How do you think it would taste if I added equal measurements of ingredients, say… 1 cup of everything. It would be so awful I don’t think you could even drink it.
That’s the power of blend.
When you blend things… you take different quantities of various ingredients to make something delicious. There’s a large margin of error and you can modify the quantities quite a bit and it will still taste good.
Thinking of how you spend your time and the work-life-family balance, the same is also true. You can modify how you spend your time and energy depending on what’s happening and you’ll still feel pretty good about how things are going.
But add a cup of flax meal to the blend… and watch out. In this analogy, you pick what the flax meal represents. Maybe it’s too much work, or too little sleep, or too much play time. Or too much social media. Too much alcohol. Too much Netflix.
Take the emotion out of how you are spending your time and energy with a visual calendar.
Create a calendar that’s based on colors rather than words. The purpose of this calendar is to ensure a healthy blend of your time and energy. Choose different colors to represent different things. For example, work might be red, family time might be yellow, and so on.
If you see mostly one color, you know your blend is off. If you don’t see any of another color, you know it’s important to add some.
In practical terms…
if you have tons of quality time with your kids set aside and you want to spend an hour connecting with your friends, it feels good to give yourself permission to do that. You KNOW you’ve spent enough time with them because you can see it.
Or let’s say you are feeling disconnected and scattered. When you look at your schedule and realize you haven’t allowed any white space in your schedule, you can go back and add some.
The best part is that when you look at this, it’s so much easier to ditch any guilt you might have about scheduling in that cup of coffee with a friend, a nap, or a massage.
Wondering how to get started with a visual calendar?
I’ve got you covered. I created a FREE downloadable workbook and an editable visual calendar for you.
Let me know what you think!