For the better part, I’ve lived my life according to the 168 hours a week rule. If you’re unfamiliar, this rule implies that instead of seeking to strike a perfect work/life balance, you instead use the 168 hours in a week to divvy up time to the most important aspects of your life, however you see fit. This concept has allowed me to fulfill my never-ending to-do list with more passion and purpose since some weeks certain aspects take precedence over others and vice versa.
Then the pandemic came, and things started feeling chaotic because every important facet of my life started blending into the same hours, week in and week out. Gone were the hours in the office, followed by train rides home, followed by time spent at the field coaching and/or quality nights at home with my family. Instead, my hours in the office were blending into the nights at home with my family, as the world shut down, everything closed and I began working from home like everyone else. Suddenly, the 168 hours a week rule became a concept that seemed unobtainable and as to be expected, the exhaustion of doing everything all at once kicked in next.
Working from home certainly has its advantages, but to this day and almost two years later, I still struggle immensely with the pressure and idea of balance. For me at least, when aspects of life are very clearly broken up, it’s easier to compartmentalize and separate businessman from dad and so on. But when you’re wearing every hat you own (so to speak), all at once, it’s easy to see how the gravity and weight of being a CEO, a dad, a husband, a son, a coach, a friend, a brother, etc. can start to feel overwhelming.
Unfortunately, I’m not writing this blog post with a perfectly crafted ending of do this, do that, and voila; you’ll achieve balance. Rather, I come with a small tip that has helped cut through the chaos and stress of finding balance. What is it you ask? Simple – be intentional.
The idea of being intentional with decisions, relationships, and your time seems too simple to be true, but in all actuality, it’s really hard. The more thoughtfulness I put into building relationships with new teammates or old friends though, the more I gain from the relationship. The more intentional I become about building a calendar and sticking to it each week, the easier it becomes to build and adhere to the next one. The more intentional I am about carving out quality time to be the husband and father Maria and my kids deserve, the better the husband and father that shows up.
We all know that small ‘tips’ like this one are much easier said than done, but the next time you’re feeling the stress of balancing the weight of the world on your shoulders, try taking a break. From there, assess the situation, be thoughtful and intentional with the decisions that come next, and just know you’re not alone in how you’re feeling.