Updated: Nov 14, 2018
For many of us, finding balance seems impossible because we never really seem to have enough time to create the space for the things that balance out the stressors in our lives, which ultimately creates MORE stress and catabolic energy.
Step 1: Create an Awareness To start creating space for the things you love, let's first sketch out where you place your time and energy so you can really see where your time goes.
Draw a circle and estimate about how much time you spend per day doing your everyday routines. Be specific and remember to include things such as sleeping, cooking, commuting, etc. This is very unique to you.
Take a moment to reflect on your current use of time. Which slice do you want to enlarge or improve the most? List your top three
areas you want to increase and the three areas you'd like to decrease.
Step 2: Design Your Balanced Wheel
Using your answers from Step 1, think about how a more balanced (and realistic) time management circle might look like and draw it out.
Step 3: Create a Plan
Once you have an idea of how you'd like to re-allocate your time, brainstorm some strategies on how you could increase time spent in things that work for you, and decrease you time spent on things that work against you.
Perhaps you can talk to your boss about working from home one day a month, which reduces your commute time and you can use that time for something else, or perhaps you can hold yourself accountable to coming home from work 30 minutes early (that's 2.5 hours a week!)
Step 4: Implement Your Plan Using an Anabolic To-do List
What's an Anabolic To-do List? It's a to-do list full of tasks that you WANT to do, rather than tasks you HAVE to do. Here's how to create it:
Take out a notepad and write out your “to-do” list. Once you have written down everything you need to get done, take out a new sheet of paper and divide it into 3 columns and label it “Don’t Do” “Delegate” and “Do”.
Don’t Do: Think about the tasks that realistically you know will stay on your “to-do” list for days, weeks, or perhaps never really get done. Do yourself a favor and just cross them off. What’s really the worst thing that could happen if you don’t do the laundry?
Delegate: What are some items that you could ask a friend, significant other, neighbor, or family member to take over for you? Perhaps you can create a dinner rotation where one person in the house cooks for everyone each night of the week? Get creative—you might even enjoy it.
Do: These are the ticket items you know you will do. The key here is to list the tasks that you want to do, not the items you have to do. If there is an association of having to do it, it lends negative, catabolic energy. If it must be done, think about WIIFM (what’s in it for me). Try to focus on WHY you are doing it and what type of return it brings you. If you can’t find a reason that lends positive energy or motivation behind the task, think about moving it to a different column.
While finding balance may seem daunting and impossible at first, remember that it's all about choice. YOU have the power to create your reality through the choices you make. Step back, slow down, and start choosing to live your best life.