If we lived in a perfect world, we’d have a nice work/life balance. Instead, we live in the work-till-we-drop era. We have writing deadlines, demanding bosses, kids with school assignments, and so on. When it comes down to it, we don’t have much control over the balance in our lives. But we can control our work/life rhythm.
Think of rhythm as a combination of rest and labor. You have those hectic times when everything needs done all at once. Other times, you can sit back and inhale. The Seed’s author, Jon Gordon, calls these different times seasons. The art of work/life rhythm is simply knowing which time—or season—you are living in and savor that moment.
To rediscover your rhythm, follow three easy steps: reflect, rediscover, and readjust.
- Reflect on your life over the past several months. Why did you surrender to the various demands on your time? Did you say “yes” because you have a hard time saying “no”? Or, did you surrender simply to keep the peace? When were you most (and least) busy? When you begin to look at things this way, you’ll start to see a pattern—a rhythm—to your life.
- Rediscover your rhythm. Make a list of demands, starting with what’s most important, all the way down to what should be cut. I imagine writing is pretty high on your list (as it is on mine), which means that other demands—even attending your neighbor’s upcoming jewelry party—may have to be dropped or rethought. Be sure to give yourself the authority to take breaks so you don’t burn out. Your body has a natural rhythm (I’m a mid-morning person): make the most of your best hours. Everyone’s rhythm is a little different, but when you find the right one for you and your life, you’ll be able to achieve a lot more in less time.
- Readjust your work-life rhythm with daily reinforcement. Just like starting an exercise program, it takes time and focus to readjust both your and others expectations (note: your family’s expectations may be the hardest to readjust!). Control the demands on your time; don’t let them control you. Don’t feel guilty when you’re at work and not at home. Likewise, don’t check your email at the dinner table. It’s not about the amount of time we spend. It’s about how engaged we are during that time.
I’ll wrap up with a bit of advice from the great philosopher George Carlin, “change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.” No matter how prepared you are life will bring you plenty of new adventures. It’s how you take on these adventures and meld them with your own rhythm to not merely survive but thrive in the modern world.
Now go take a break and rediscover your rhythm. You deserve it!
Berinn Rae writes romantic science fiction/fantasy about extraordinary women who always get their guy and still manage to save the world. Her Guardians of the Seven Seals series follows mythical creatures we believed in as children, only to be forgotten as we aged. When not writing, she can be found flying old airplanes, watching SciFi movies, playing RPGs, and pampering an incredibly spoiled sixty-pound lap dog.
Everyone has monsters under the bed…
Orion Benandanti isn’t just a hellhound. He is the Alpha of all hellhounds and host to the Third Seal. Thanks to the Guardians, the Dominion has splintered, and he takes a much-needed break in the Midwest United States. But the world still isn’t safe. One night, Orion is attacked by a pack of monstrous hellhounds. If hunting a rogue alpha wasn’t enough, Orion also has to deal with his growing attraction to the newcomer in his territory, a female hellhound in the form of a beautiful yet stubborn pragmatist.
But what if you’re one of them?
In one night, Lana Wolfe’s life was destroyed and she was reborn a walking nightmare. A year later, she dedicates her life to destroying others like her. That is, until she discovers Orion Benandanti, the Alpha of all hellhounds and host to the Third Seal. But when the hunter becomes the hunted and Orion’s Seal is put at risk, the only way to survive is for Lana to trust the man who very well may destroy her soul. Will she let him claim her—for the Seal’s protection and for a passion forged in hell’s hottest fires?