I admit, saying that I have a GREAT work/life juggle is a big call. It’s not always perfect, but the majority of the time, I think it’s pretty great.
Over the last two years many women have asked me how I manage work and life so effortlessly. While I do manage these things, the effortless part is misconceived. A lot goes into it, I assure you! But the questions got me thinking why it is that my balls usually remain in the air.
The answer hit me late last year. My secret? The Goldilocks Rule.
I’m sure you’ll remember the fairy tale Goldilocks and the Three Bears. A little girl goes for a walk in the forest, discovers a house and helps herself to the porridge. She decides that she likes the porridge with a temperature that is not too hot, not too cold, but “just right”.
In her book Bring Work to Life by Bringing Life to Work, Tracy Brower puts the Goldilocks rule simply: ‘As much as necessary, as little as possible.’
This simple, eight word sentence really struck a chord with me and, as it turns out, the Goldilocks rule isn’t just the moral from a fairy tale, it is an actual “thing”. A real principle that has been applied to planets, psychology, medicine and economics (thanks, Wikipedia).
The Goldilocks Rule is my mantra and it is my secret to success.
I live by the Goldilocks principle of ‘just the right amount’ in almost every area of my life (except, maybe, the amount of chocolate I eat. But what’s a rule if there are no exceptions!):
- I work enough to get the job done, but I don’t overdo it for the sake of ‘putting in hours’ or achieving perfection. ‘As much as necessary, as little as possible.’
- I keep the house clean and tidy, but the finger prints on the windows can wait and the laundry can pile up. ‘As much as necessary, as little as possible.’
- I have a capsule wardrobe which I absolutely love. Less choice = more time. ‘As much as necessary, as little as possible.’
You get the idea.
Why does it work? Well, we can’t do it all and I never try to. I do what is “just right” for me, and be done with the rest.
‘As much as necessary, as little as possible.’
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