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Is the perfect work/life balance possible? Or is this the wrong question?

by Lenora Rand, SmallGood Co-founder

This may not be what you want to hear right now—but the perfect work/life balance just doesn’t exist.

Yes, that may sound a little depressing.

But the key word here is "perfect.”

John Steinbeck, author of several books you likely read in high school said this, “And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.”

Take that in.

You don’t have to be perfect. And you don’t have to have the perfect work/life balance.

Whew. Are you breathing just a little easier already?

As a woman who has done every possible permutation of work—full-time, part-time, work-from-home, freelance, small biz entrepreneur—I can tell you that work/life balance is like any of those things that we are told we can have if we only work hard enough or spend enough money - perfect thighs, perfect children, lipstick that looks perfect all day.

Not possible.

However, good enough is possible. And embracing “good enough” is actually kinda great.

Do you remember that tweet Randi Zuckerberg made back in 2011? If you don’t you’ve likely seen a meme, article or infographic based on it.

The entrepreneur’s dilemma:

Maintaining friendships, Building a great company. Spending time w/ family. Staying fit. Getting sleep.

Pick 3.

What were your choices? I’m personally taking a moment of silence for the dust collecting on my exercise bike (which I tell myself I should spend 45 minutes on, 4 days a week) and the lunch date I cancelled for the third time with one of my oldest friends.

But 3 out of 5...maybe that’s good enough.

Until someone figures out how to put more hours in the day.

Yes, theoretically we all have the same amount of hours in a day as Beyoncé, but she’s also a multimillionaire entertainer with a team. But there are lessons we can learn from that leotard wearing superstar or even successful CEOs.

Even though none of us can make more time, there are a few ways we can maybe maximize it. Here are four we’re trying these days:

Prioritize. Whether you’re running a business or trying to save the world sometimes we get overwhelmed with ALL that needs to be done. So you might want to make it a practice each day to stop and write down what really needs to be done when. Also, what's essential vs. a nice-to-have. It's good to capture it all and then you can decide what actually has to be done first, and what can wait. And bonus: often doing a few things well informs the next few things that need to be done. And definitely helps you breathe easier.

Consolidate. As entrepreneurs it’s tempting to chase the new shiny task, but being intentional about your time and responsibilities can work wonders. Have you tried time blocking (organizing your day into blocks of time)? Or maybe batching (consolidating specific tasks into time blocks or on specific days of the week) works for you.

Communicate. Talk to your business partner or family about the pain points in your life and try to identify ways to help each other that can create new efficiencies for everyone.

Outsource. As your time becomes more valuable, it’s important to eliminate some of those time intensive tasks that absolutely have to get done. Try having your groceries delivered or finally saying yes to that virtual assistant who can help you get organized. We’re also here to help. Reach out... we’d love to be an advertising/marketing outsourcing option for you.

So yeah, you might want to try some of these techniques to help you take back some of your time and achieve a better work/life balance. You may not be able to do all of these...and you certainly won’t be able to do all of them perfectly and that’s ok....because remember, perfection isn’t possible.

And as Voltaire said, “Perfect is the enemy of good.” ­

Plus, good enough really is good enough.

If that’s hard to believe...and as a recovering perfectionist, I totally get might want to begin to redefine perfection as “progress.” How do you do that? Well, that sounds like a whole other blog post for another day!

Now excuse me while I take my vitamins and take my stationary bike for a spin (for 20 minutes or so…).

Have any burning business questions you need answered? We specialize in helping businesses and organizations who are trying to make a positive impact in the world grow their good. Small ones, big ones and in-between ones...size truly doesn’t matter to us.

And we’d like to help you too. So send us your questions via email at or to any of our social spaces Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn using #AskUsAnything.

We hope to hear from you!

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