Living a productive and meaningful life is a balancing act. With the pressures of today’s demanding and high paced world, most people struggle to find a reasonable balance. We can easily be drawn away from our priorities when one aspect of our life consumes the bulk of our time. To a large extent, it is much like walking a tightrope. When we drift too much in one direction or the other, we become unbalanced. To sustain what we value most in our lives, we must constantly maintain our equilibrium as we move forward to achieve our purpose and goals.
Are you dedicating enough time and energy to the most important aspects of your life? Or do you find yourself focusing on one major area at the expense of the others?
Commit to finding your balance in life.
Take a good look at your life. Do you feel consistently stressed, physically exhausted, mentally drained or emotionally devoid of happiness? Are you dropping the ball with key responsibilities in your personal and professional lives? Do you neglect your own well-being for the sake of others? If your answer is “yes” to any of these considerations, you may be out of balance. To find your balance, make a commitment to work through these next steps.
Here are some useful techniques on how to balance your priorities in life:
1. Determine your priorities.
Set aside time to define what you would consider to be the most significant aspects of your life. Do they include such priorities as family, friends, work, community, and self? How do your priorities factor into your life? Which of them consume the most time, energy, and financial resources? Which ones are the most rewarding to you? Overall, how do they add and subtract value to your spiritual, mental, and physical well-being? Focus on creating priorities that are achievable and make the most sense to you.
2. Establish and execute an implementation plan for each priority.
You have a finite amount of time and energy in any one given day. In response, how do you plan to implement your priorities? To develop your plan, establish specific strategies for each priority and tie them to your overall plan to maintain balance. If one priority is to care for your father with Alzheimer’s, how can you accomplish this goal when you are working full-time with two teenagers? What specific steps will you take to manage your efforts? As you execute your implementation plan, align your actions to your words. Your priorities will be revealed to others by how you live.
3. Evaluate your progress.
Take time to periodically assess how well you are carrying out your priorities. Acknowledge your accomplishments and areas in need of improvement. If you continue to feel unbalanced, be willing to adjust your priorities or implementation strategies to bring you back into alignment. As your priorities change, alter your implementation plan to sustain your balance. This will be an ongoing process if you wish to keep moving forward.
4. Stand your ground.
You own your priorities and how they balance your life. No one else can determine what is best for you even when they may try. Be prepared to walk away from difficult situations and to say no to unreasonable requests that ultimately compromise your balance. Consider it a personal victory when you have the strength and courage to protect what is important to you. Don’t relinquish your power to the unreasonable demands of others.
5. Allow yourself time each day to center yourself.
An essential part of balancing your life is to take time for yourself. Make it a daily habit to spend some quiet time during your day to relax and let go. Turn off your cell and other distractions and just check out for even a short period of time.
The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule but to schedule your priorities. – Stephen Covey
Written by: Patricia K. Flanigan, Smart Strategies for Successful Living