Can I let you in on a little secret? That life you dream about where everything is perfectly balanced and you’re riding on top of the world doesn’t exist. At least not permanently.
You see life, in all its ebbs and flows, is a constant balancing act.
Think about balancing on something unstable. You push back and forth as you work to stay centered. Just when you think you’re there, you start to tilt a little to the left. You adjust. And then you start to tilt to the right. On and on this game goes until you lose the energy to balance it all and need to stop.
This is an accurate picture of your life.
The 3 Stages of Balance
You will balance the things–family, work, friends, creative projects, your home, etc. But there will also come a time when you need to stop balancing it all and check out. We call that vacation or a self-care day. When you can stop thinking about the balancing act and just focus on rest.
All three steps–adjust left (work), adjust right (life), rest–are needed in your balancing game. On top of this, we need to prioritize. We can go a lot longer in trying to balance when we add in more time for self-care and introspection and less time for the things we’re balancing that don’t serve our higher purpose.
How To Create Balance
This week, make a list of everything you are balancing, everything that’s in your schedule, and on your to-do list. Get detailed with this. No task is too small to be included.
Now, go through and circle everything that is a top priority. This could be time with family, a moment to read your book, a weekly bath, etc. Work might be a priority but it’s important to break down the individual tasks of work, it’s made of a million little pieces just like the other areas of your life.
Once you’ve determined your top priorities go through the list again and cross out anything that is on the bottom of your list of priorities, or thinks you know don’t align with your purpose or values. This might be spending time on social (you can outsource it or give it a break), keeping up with the latest tv shows, or always making sure your house looks immaculate. You decide what doesn’t need to be a priority.
The last step in your balancing game, now that you have less to balance, is to start scheduling in time to rest (find some ideas for rest here). Try and make this at least 30-minutes of time 1-2 times a week (if not more). And if you can dedicate an entire day or a few days 1x a quarter to your rest, you’ll find even more ease in your balancing act.
The Never Ending Balancing Act
The balancing act isn’t a destination. It’s a continuous game. The key is to make sure you have the 3rd leg in this game, rest.
Rest makes the balancing game manageable. It also gives you the space and time to look back at all your balancing and decide what needs to be dropped. You can’t balance it all, decide what’s the most important and outsource, or just drop the remaining.