I’m dating myself, but in the early years of television entertainment, variety shows would have performers who would balance spinning plates on vertical sticks. The challenge was to see how many plates you could keep in the air before they started to fall. As they began to slow down and start to wobble, the performer would have to run from one to the other to get them spinning again. So often life feels like that, but instead of plates we have responsibilities that require attention: the kids, work, spouse, church, friends, family and a host of others. There are always more things to do than we have time for, so how do we balance all these responsibilities?
Here are four ideas for keeping life balanced:
1) Keep the main thing the main thing: It’s good to take a step back occasionally and see if you are focusing on the most important things in life. There is a phrase ‘the tyranny of the urgent’ where the urgent takes over and we neglect the things that are more important, significant, and healthy for us and those around us.
2) Don’t keep adding to your responsibilities: When was the last time you said ‘no’ to some request? There are not enough hours in the day to do everything that everyone else wants you to do. If you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed, you must decide what you will ‘stop doing’ if you are going to ‘start doing’ something new.
3) Be aware there are ‘seasons of life’: As we journey through life, our levels of responsibility change. When we are children, we have few responsibilities. Those responsibilities grow as we become young adults. When we get married and have children and a career, our responsibilities grow to overwhelming levels and then they begin to diminish as the kids leave. Give yourself grace if you are in an overwhelming season and hold yourself accountable if you are in an easier season. A good dialog with God about what he expects of you is in order.
4) Ruthlessly set aside time to restore your own soul: This is probably the most important idea. Like the airline briefing about putting on your own oxygen mask before you help others, it is critical that you have a daily ‘regula’ of time in the bible, prayer, silence, and solitude. Restoring your soul allows you to keep healthy for those in your life who need you. It may only be 10-15 minutes per day, but start somewhere.
By focusing on these few ideas, you build margin into your daily life. A life coach can be help with these balance issues. If you are interested in life coaching, please contact the Counseling Center.