You can’t let others tell you what they perceive as the ‘right way’ to achieve life balance. Some might say that working evenings and weekends isn’t the right way to do it. For myself I find that working some evenings and weekends are what work for me. I arrange my schedule for what works for me, after all creating a well-balanced, fulfilled life is all about what works for you not what someone else thinks is the ‘ideal’.
Here are three facts about me:
- I am a professional coach and consultant. I speak a great deal about life balance (and work-life balance and work-family balance).
- I’m an entrepreneur (a solopreneur who works from a home office to be exact).
- I have a family: a wife and two children (who attend college).
Given that I live the life I speak and write about, that I manage my own business, and that I have a family at home, does this mean that I don’t work evenings and weekends? Certainly, one might argue, if anyone is in a position to choose when to work, I am.
The fact of the matter is that I do work some evenings and weekends. Why? Because I choose to.
Here are some reasons I opt to work at times when conventional wisdom suggests that I should be spending time with my family, friends, or on myself:
My wife works weekdays from 8 to5 (+). I help to run the household and maintain our home (mow the lawn, trim the edges with the best string trimmer, shop for meals, do the dry cleaning) during weekday working hours so that we’re sharing in the responsibilities and so that they don’t pile up to be done in the evenings or on the weekends.
My wife has some interests other than me in the evenings, and when she’s involved with them and/or out with friends, I’m happy to get some work done. I love my work.
When the kids come home from school, they’re seldom around in the evenings or on weekends. I’m able to spend some time with them during the day. I gladly trade this time for some weekend and evening working hours.
Some of my clients aren’t able to schedule our sessions during typical business hours (and they don’t necessarily even live in my time zone), or they may prefer to conduct our discussions from the comfort and privacy of their homes. I’m happy to be of service to them. I get to meet more really fascinating people this way.
I may choose to attend a conference or trade show that falls on a weekend (like this upcoming weekend). I simply schedule time off for myself during the week.
I choose to do some volunteer work on Fridays, so I keep a lighter schedule that day, putting in a few extra hours when I can.
You see, I’ve been able to define and create, for myself and nobody else, my ideal of a well-balanced, fulfilled life and lifestyle. For me, that definition includes flexibility.
Is this how someone else might think a professional coach specializing in life balance (work-life balance/ work-family balance) is supposed to live his life? It simply doesn’t matter what someone else might think – it’s working for me and those around me whom I love and cherish so dearly.