Friday, October 14, 2011

Balance

Finding balance-it's something everyone struggles with, no matter what your 'job' is or how busy or calm your life may seem at that very moment. Most of us might have even chose the Kelley Direct program because it is a great way to achieve your degree while trying to find that balance, given the flexibility the online format provides. But that doesn't make everything else in life slow down. We once had a senior leader at work give us his principles for finding work/life balance, the core of which was have NO more than 5 'roles' in your life. You simply cannot do more than 5 things well. Every time I hear him speak, this gets me, as I start thinking through my roles: wife, daughter, sister, employee, student...oh wait, that's all i get?! add in church member, volunteer, friend, horseback rider, and travel junkie only to find I've now doubled my list. As I reflect on this, it's not that I can't do all of those things; I even have to do many of them. The key is as I doing them well? Do I want to even do some of them if I'm only half-heartedly engaging? Am I letting others down by only giving it my attention while multitasking and thinking of the 'to do' list in my head?

The solution looks different for everyone. Personally, it means having different roles at different times. Work cannot come before my role as a wife, daughter & sister-they will always take precedence. I fit in my volunteering and horseback riding when I have time, most often on the weekends. Travel becomes a more structured, limited time venture. Yet a friend in need immediately rises to the top. For others, this means deciding not to do certain things (I try this, but find I then replace it with another!). Everyone has to find their own balance, yet for me, when I get to doing those 5 roles well, I find much more satisfaction. Spending quality time talking with my parents, going out for a dinner (with no cell phones) with my husband & friends-these are what I will cherish.

This is the core reason for me why I value Kelley Direct. I love that teachers will record & post their lectures, so even though I can't make a Tuesday 8pm session, I can watch it on Thursday morning while on the treadmill. I find invaluable that my classmates are all trying to find this balance, so we understand the give and take during group work. Lastly, I love that I can continue to challenge myself academically, and yet still have my 'other' roles, falling into a routine. Three-quarters of a year into the program, I finally find myself settling into a rhythm of how and when to study and how to do it well; but it took taking a hard look at how my 5 roles would change during these two years of school. I challenge you to do the same.

What are your 5 roles? Are you dedicating your best to them?

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