As an aspiring writer who considers himself a small business owner, I feel a lot of tension in keeping my life in balance. This is certainly not unique with me. We probably all feel pulled in different directions: work, family, church, community, hobbies, household chores, extended family, special events, and friendships to name a few.
Usually I can keep everything running well, but sometimes when one area requires more attention, it can become tough to make it all work. For example, my day job has become more demanding recently, requiring me to stay late more often than not. This is hitting at the same time that my suburban yard work duties are ramping up with Spring. Plus, as I shared a few days ago, I’ve spent much more time producing an ebook than I expected, mainly due to technical difficulties. The result is that I haven’t written anything creatively in over a month. And that is a definite no-no for aspiring writers.
At times like this, I find it helpful to step back and remember a few things:
- Everything is Temporary – Yes, everything. There are very few things around today that will be here in five years, much less over the course of a lifetime. What may seem huge now, will likely be forgotten sooner than I think. It may be trite, but it’s true: “This, too, shall pass.”
- The Big Picture – Every six months I reaffirm my priorities and plan out in general terms what I want to accomplish. By regularly reviewing this plan, it helps me identify things that are stealing my time. It helps me distinguish between what is urgent and what is important.
- The Pareto Principle – I’ve learned recently in my Master Mind group that focusing on my top 20% of priorities will bring 80% of my results. So, if I can only spend time on a few things, it better be the top things.
- Support System – Speaking of my Master Mind group, it’s good to have a support system in place of family and friends who can encourage you. My relationships are like a bank account: I make deposits and withdrawals. It’s important to make those deposits as often as I can so that when I have to make withdrawals, I’ll have something to pull from.
- Many Baskets – We’ve all heard the saying of not having “all your eggs in one basket” and that applies to success as well. There are many areas in life that I need to be building success in every day: relational, physical, spiritual, financial, occupational, intellectual, and so on. That way if I’m not seeing success in one area, I can still be a successful person. And success tends to spread. The mental reinforcement I get from other areas helps me in those areas where I’m struggling.
I’m by no means someone who has it all together. Nor do any of these tips originate with me. Rather, I’m someone sharing these as one in the trenches. Actually, this post has been my way of getting things back into perspective. And if it helps me, then maybe it can help someone else.
So, what do you do to help find and keep life-balance?