In the past weeks in both this and my Sippy Cups to Separation column I have been talking about finding balance in life. This week I want to talk about practical ways to actually achieve this. Having a goal is always a good idea, but just simply stating the goal “I want to have balance between all areas in my life” will get you no where. If you’re anything like me you’ll just end up back in front of your computer for hours on end, because you know that you have all sorts of work/play/etc on there that needs to be done–and you’re so overwhelmed with everything else that you’re not really sure where to even start.
I mentioned that you should write down your priority list and how this should translate into your life. That is a great place to start. Once you have that in place you need to break it down further by deciding how that will look on a day to day basis in your life. This year I decided that I have so many things on my plate that I needed to schedule out each waking moment of my day into blocks. Perhaps this seems a bit extreme–but when you’re balancing 3 jobs, 2 kids, one husband, one God, and yourself it might not seem so extreme after all.
One reason that this has worked so well for me is that I’m a list oriented person. I’ve always benefited from daily to do lists and have always loved checking things off my list. I sat down and wrote out each day of the week and scheduled what would happen into chunks of time from waking till sleeping making sure to incorporate everything from my devotions, to work out time, to scheduled time to check email, to time for playing with the kids, to time on the phone with my mom, to downtime in the evening with my hubby. Now as I go throughout my day if I ever start feeling “lost” I just look at my “Master to do” list and see what I’m supposed to be working on. This is especially helpful for limiting internet time. If I get sidetracked because I’m not being diligent I still have to move on when my time is up. This helps me stay more focused on the task at hand and less focused on status updates and which of my pins are being re-pinned on Pinterest.
Does each day go perfectly according to plan? Of course not! Last week each day had an “extra” thing planned that threw the rest of the schedule out of whack. The beauty is that with this system that’s OK. I just wait till we’re back to having a “normal” day and pick up right where my schedule tells me I should be.
In my next column I’ll talk about figuring out where to squeeze chunks of work into your schedule!
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