When we consider a balanced life it implies that when all things are put on a ‘scale’, there is an equal distribution of weight given to all things that take time on our calendars. This is an unrealistic measurement process.
Instead, it starts with defining the top priorities we want to give time to. Even better... the priorities we want to INVEST our time into.
It’s About Prioritized Balance
There are 3 easy steps that will empower you to make sure your time is being invested vs used up.
What are your top 3 priorities in this season?
We are not boxing ourselves into the top 3 priorities for the rest of our lives...just for a season. A season can be a month / a quarter / 6 months or even a year. It starts by taking a look at where we are right now and thinking about where we want to see improvement or growth in the next x months.
Some examples include:
• Improved financial situation
• Stronger family life
• A home improvement project completed
• A business goal reached
• A vacation planned and saved for
• Debt reduced by x% (or paid off)
What is the priority order of my 3 things?
This doesn’t mean we're determining which things are more important but which things will take the most time.
• Whatever will require the most time is #1.
• Whatever will need the least amount of time investment is #3.
Here is an example of this thought process:
I have decided that my top 3 priorities for the next 3 months are:
1. Stronger family life
2. Business Growth to pay off a family vacation
3. DIY renovation completed on our kitchen (which also requires additional income to pay for it)
I put family first in this list because it’s the first thing I thought of as it’s nearest and dearest to my heart. However, when I consider the weight of time required for my 3 priorities, my list looks like this:
1. Business Growth to pay off a family vacation
2. Diy renovation completed on our kitchen (which also requires additional income to pay for it)
3. Stronger family life
Business growth is #1 because I need it to pay for the family vacation which will contribute to stronger family life in my next 3 months AND because it is going to provide the income I need to complete the kitchen renovation that is very important to me. (Afterall, this DIY project has been dragging on for weeks and it’s killing our family time!)
Family life at #3 doesn’t mean it’s less important to me, it just means I recognize that I can improve family time with fewer hours than I need to accomplish the other priorities.
ALSO NOTE: Be specific. In this example, #2 is not just business growth but what I want to use business growth to pay for.
Does my calendar reflect my priorities?
At least once a week (more often if you tend to fill your calendar quickly from day to day), evaluate how you have scheduled your upcoming week or days.
There will be things that are important or necessary that are not part of your prioritized list. This third step is when you will evaluate how it all works together.
• Personal development time
• Spiritual growth time
• Hobbies / classes
• Volunteer time
• Chores / housekeeping
Here is a self-coaching conversation flow to help: