The 5 Ps of Balancing Family & Career
How is it been for you to spend so much extra time at home with your loved ones around?
I don’t know about you, but initially finding the balance between work and family was hindered some guilt about my actions.
What is the right way to be doing this? Should I be working on my business? Homeschooling my kids? Creating magical memories during this situation?
I do realize that kids and spouses don’t come with an instruction manual – but that’s the story for another post….
I am a firm believer that there is a Seed of Opportunity in every circumstance. So, how did I find a seed of opportunity here?
There are 5Ps that have helped me to create some magic while balancing a full house and my business: Perspective, proactive, patient, presence, playful.
Conflict is inevitable in any relationship. It’s how we deal with that conflict that dictates whether a relationship will be strengthened. Keeping yourself open to different perspectives can help pull you out of the details day-to-day and look at the big picture.
The next time you are feeling tension in any relationship, try these prompts to help you gain a different perspective:
Hit pause. Count to 10, or 20, or 100. Allowing your emotions time to calm down will allow your rational mind more freedom to reset.
Mentally switch roles. Even if you’re frustrated the attempt of seeing the other person’s experience will help to expand your perspective.
Imagine that you are a “fly on the wall” observing the interaction. You will be impressed how moving out of your own experience will help you to look at the whole picture.
Ask yourself “What’s my outcome for today/this week – for business and magical family moments?”
Identify what are the top outcomes then block the time to complete these. This action switches it from a “To Do list” to a “Desired Result list”. This helps us take action.
Just because it feels like we could do ANYthing on the to do list, doesn’t mean that we should do everything.
To activate your patience – especially with kids – here is the “30-second chill-pill exercise”.
I go through this process:
I close my eyes and put my hand on my heart.
I flood myself with the magical moments with my loved ones, e.g. the memories when kids were born, why am I grateful for them, joyful moments together, something that made me laugh, something that they surprised me with, etc.
Then I say to myself ”Open your heart, before you open your mouth”.
I put a smile on my face and within 30 sec I am ready to show up in a state that my children need as a role model.
We have heard so many times “quality over quantity” of time spent with your loved ones. Well one of the great opportunities that the quarantine has brought to us is the fact that we can have both.
For me, presence – starts with that blocked time. Once I ink into my calendar appointments for these activities and have fun names for them, e.g. Magical Family Hour, Crushing Project X, etc. The mere activity of coming up with the fun names, gets me to want to put it in the calendar. Once inked on the calendar as an appointment, it creates commitment to be present. One trick that I use to stay present is using prompts to anchor myself for that present/flow state. For example, when working on my business - I turn my office salt lamp on – which reminds me to be “ON” for productivity, efficiency, contribution, creation, etc. For the family – I leave all my devices in my office and first few minutes – do nothing else but connect by looking into their eyes and genuinely inquiring about their day. In addition to scheduled appointments, I got kids involved to build in non-negotiable rituals –e.g. meal time together, evening prayer and gratitude. I also give them permission to reinforce the established non-negotiables - and let them be top accountability coaches on the planet.
I don’t know about you, but I remember that being a kid, adding playfulness, created so much more joy in my life. To activate your playfulness, I start any activity with asking myself a question: “How can I add more joy/fun/surprise to the situation?” and once I come up with at least one idea, execute immediately by taking the smallest action step towards that. For example, if having family movie night would be more fun watching it from the pillow fort, I start bringing pillows to the basement theatre room. It’s important to take the smallest action towards that, otherwise your brain will talk you out of it. And…enjoy – the more playful we get, the more joy we will feel.