Balance in life is something many people are striving for.
The times we are living in now put a lot of pressure on people to do a lot of things at the same time. At work you have to finish that big project but then you’re asked to help out with another one. At home you need to spend quality time with your family, you should be reading to keep on top of things, meeting with friends, exercising and looking after your health etc. There also spiritual life that needs taken care of as well as your garden, car and next holidays. This can go on and on.
Simply there is not enough time to fit all of that and produce the quality you would like. Yet I believe that maintaining a balance in long-term results in fulfilling and prosperous life.
So How can you merge these seemingly opposite forces?
First change the perspective.
Achieving balance on a daily basis may not be the way to go. But if you shift to monthly or even weekly overview things may look much better than expected. Cramming all things into 24h may not be possible but spreading them over 7 or 30 days looks much more manageable.
Secondly create time of imbalance.
This is where you focus on selected thing that are highly important to you and reduce other commitments to a minimum.
The areas you may use the time of imbalance for may include:
- completing important work project that requires you to work longer hours.
- write a book you always wanted or launch a business on the side
- preparing for an exam.
- organising and enjoying quality holidays
- finish a marathon
Simply these would be projects and goals that require significant time and effort to complete.
How to make a good time of imbalance?
The time of imbalance should be focused only on one area/project. When it comes to managing time it’s zero sum game – you need to take something out in order to put something in.
Say, if you need to prepare for an Ironman race you need to devote 18-20h per week to training. But the same 20h needs to be taken from some other activities.
Trying to juggle more items at a time will result in greater struggle with time and defy the point of time of imbalance as you will try to focus on too many things at a time.
Creating imbalance will have some sort of negative impact on people around you. You may be late from work, miss the family dinner etc – whatever it’s some one will be hurt.
So you need communicate that particular project at work or at home is very important to you and it needs maximum of your time and attention.
By communicating you solve the issue of expectations that other may have. If people know what you’re up to, if they know what has your attention they will react more positively to you. They may not like where you put your time but it will send a clear signal.
If you focus on something that’s important for you, that’s fascinating, if you work on something that makes you alive it’s easy to get sucked into it and lose the control.
Just one more hour, just one more project, just one more……. this is a dangerous road that may lead to addiction and some form if -ism like work holism.
The imbalance is good for short period of time otherwise it will eat you. You need to control it. Set a clear deadline or specific target. Once you achieve your goal you should move to something else preferable something that was neglected due to the imbalance.
In the end by creating these times of imbalance you can achieve things you desire and give them enough time, effort and attention to create best result. Also by putting your focus in to various areas of your life you will allow for creating a pattern leading long term balance.