Do you often find yourself thinking of work when you are with your family?
Do you constantly miss family functions because of your job?
Do you consistently have trouble finishing projects at home and at work?
Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed?
If you can answer yes to any of these questions, then you have the symptoms of a life that is out of balance, and you need change your priorities now before things get even worse.
What Is Life Balance?
We all have heard the term work-life balance and know what it means. Life balance is more than that. It is more than just balancing your work with the rest of your life. Life balance is prioritizing all of the areas of your life, so that can focus on what is most important to you.
When I coach people with lives that are way out of balance, they often tell me that they feel overwhelmed with everything that they have to do. When I dig a little deeper, I usually discover that they don’t know what their priorities are. Once they are clear on their priorities, they begin to accomplish extraordinary things.
How Can I Determine My Priorities
The first step in creating a balanced life is to determine your priorities. The best way to do this is to develop a life plan. A life plan doesn’t have to be an elaborate document that takes days to develop. It can be a very simple document that helps you determine what really matters to you.
If you have not taken the time to create a plan for your life – do it now.
I mean it, go ahead and click on this link and do it right now.
I will wait right here for you too come back.
Five Keys To Life Balance
Once you have developed a plan, you will have a better idea of what your priorities are. Your next step is to focus on developing your priorities in each of five key areas.
My Five Keys Focus Areas Are:
1. God – Developing my relationship with God and becoming more Christlike.
2. Family – Spending as much quality time with my family as possible.
3. Mission – Supporting my family by making a difference in the life of others.
4. Health – Maintaining a healthy diet, exercise, and self-development
5. Finance – Becoming debt free and creating a solid financial plan for my family
If you want to live a more balanced life, you must master these five key areas. Balance will not happen by doing okay in one, great in another, and letting others fall by the wayside. While there are times that you might want to focus on one or two, each area is important. They are all interwoven, and you can’t achieve balance without developing each one.
I Created My Priorities – Now What
So, you have created a life plan, and you know what your priorities are, what’s next? Here are four simple steps to help you to create a more balanced life by adding more detail too your priorities.
1. List Your Areas Of Focus – The first step in creating a balanced life is too make a list of the your five key areas of focus (these should be the same as your priorities). If you have created a life plan, you can list the 5 areas of focus that you have already created. If you haven’t created a life plan, you can use my list and modify it to fit your life.
2. Develop Your Goals – Develop your goals for each of your areas of focus. Each area of focus should have 3-5 goals for the year. You might have a specific financial goal like paying off debt, or a career goal of starting your own business. For example, under my “Family”area of focus, I have a goal of dating my wife once a month. Take a few minutes now, to list 3-5 goals for each of your areas of focus.
3. Schedule Time – I have heard it said that what gets scheduled gets done, so the next step is to schedule time for each of your goals. I don’t know about you, but if I am going to date my wife once a month, I need to put it on my calendar or it will never happen. Check out this post for more detail on scheduling time for your more important priorities.
4. Review and make adjustments – You should review your progress toward your goals on a regular basis. This will ensure that you are on the right track and all of your priorities are in balance. If they aren’t, it is an opportunity to make adjustments to either your plan or your schedule to get back on track.
Your calendar and your checkbook are the best indicators of what your actual priorities are. You can’t claim that your family is your top priority, if you only spend a few hours a week with them. You can’t claim that your health is a priority if you haven’t been too the gym this month, and you eat most of your meals at McDonalds.
How did you spend your time last week? Did your priorities get all of the attention that they deserve? Were you focused on things that are not on your priority list? How do you need to change next week so that your focus will be on your priorities and not on less important things?
Next week we will talk about how and why to schedule your priorities for maximum impact. If one of your goals is to become a better husband and father in 2015, don’t miss next weeks post.
Question: What are your top 5 priorities this year, and what are you doing about them? Comment below.