Forget Balance; Go for Focus

As April is National Stress Awareness Month, I was invited to contribute to an article featuring advice from entrepreneurs on how to manage stress.

It’s the same advice that I give leaders and teams in an ImprovEdge experience – It’s a process.

You will be great at it some days, and miss the mark on others.

I’ve been able to reduce stress and achieve balance by rejecting the idea of balance. There is no balanced life as a leader and entrepreneur — there are times of crisis, times of intense focus, downtimes, and in-between times. As a former professional actor and improviser, that’s the schedule I love. The key was to realize that my personal life would also look a bit like my professional life and embrace it.

Many days a week, I’m a fantastic CEO: visiting clients, closing deals, creating new service lines, interviewing potential employees, and sweating spreadsheets. On those days, I’m a not a great spouse, mother, community member, or friend. I set expectations with my family and friends in advance and do a lot in advance to ensure they have everything they will need. On other days, I’m an amazing spouse and mother: cooking, helping with homework, and planning vacations or date nights.

There isn’t balance, there’s focus.

Be completely present and focused with the people in your room at that moment. And be sure your priorities even out in the long run — you have to schedule your priorities, not prioritize your schedule. YOU have control.

Keep improvising and check out this article for more tips.