Finding balance is something many of us strive to achieve in our busy, stress-filled lives. Brandon and I cannot say definitely that we have created or found balanced lives. We can share that finding your balance means recognizing there are times when you need to take a step back, then there are times to be all-in pursuing your goals and dreams.
Importance of a Balanced Life
Brandon took a hiatus from Beyond the Rut and a few other activities in his life during the summer of 2018. Life’s activities were pulling him in multiple directions at the same time. This episode of Beyond the Rut podcast shares with you how you can find balance in life by sharing insights he gained during his time off.
Without finding balance among work and life, your productivity drops. Your impact drops whether that is at the office or at home with your loved ones. If you have ever found yourself overwhelmed with life events while at the office, you need to find some balance in life. If you find yourself checking your work email while you are attending your children’s school events, you need to find some balance in life.
What is a Work Life Balance?
There is a growing acceptance that there is no such thing as finding balance. Life is chaotic and you just have to hold on for the ride in a sense.
When you dig deeper into that belief, you find that it comes from (1) accepting that life is chaotic and demanding and (2) you have to decide what is most important to you in that moment and put your focus there.
Isn’t that the same thing as “finding balance?”
We seem to think that finding balance is about finding some kind of zen-like, relaxed state where nothing bothers you. That is not how we would describe it at all.
Elements of a Balanced Life
Work takes up about a third of our days. A trade is made for that time and our work in exchange for a paycheck that is then used for those five areas mentioned above.
The problem with finding balance is that we often let work take over our lives. There are the 8 hours we often exchange Monday through Friday. On top of that, we commit to at least 5 hours each week to a commute for that job assuming a 30-minute commute time each way. If you’ve worked through your 1-hour lunch break regular, there is another 5 hours a week. Consider the time spent preparing your clothes for work whether you do the laundry yourself, or use a dry cleaner.
At Beyond the Rut, we believe there are multiple of circles that are important to your life. We list the Big Five as the following:
- Faith – your spiritual life
- Fitness – taking care of yourself physically and emotionally
- Family – your most important relationships
- Finances – your means to take care of those most important to you and to do what is most important to you.
- Furthering your personal and professional development – this is basically the work you do and we really wanted that alliteration to happen.
Work is important. It’s how we create the income for the Five F’s. The trick is to first identify what is most important, and say no to the rest. Your time is the one resource you have that is not abundant. Many things can either be reduced, removed, or delegated.
Questions to help you find balance in life
- What do you currently have on your plate? (List it all out on paper)
- Where do you want to spend the most time possible that would bring the greatest value for you, your family, and those you care about most? (attend family functions, serve those in need, run a marathon, hike the Appalachian Trail, and so on.)
- Where are you wasting the most time? (Just stop doing those things or cut back.)
- What are the things on your list you wish you did not have to do? (Either stop doing those things, or if they are must-do items consider ways you can leverage resources and free up time such as hiring someone to mow your lawn, trust your kids with chores, or paying for an online service that will do most of the work for you.)
- What are things you feel compelled to do that brings no value to you or the world whatsoever, and the world really would be okay if you stopped doing those things? (Brandon has a rule to not help people move. I don’t have to serve in every single ministry at church.)
Go through this exercise and we think you now have a game plan. We just helped you find balance in life. You’re welcome!
Resources and Links
Checking out some of these work life balance articles we found
Scholarly Articles on work-life balance. Click here.
“The Crucial Thing Missing from the Work-Life Balance Debate” by John Coleman, independent contributor to Forbes.com.
“Striving for Work-Life Balance” by Susan Simmons, PhD, ARNP-BC on American Journal of Nursing.
“Manage Your Work, Manage Your Life” by Boris Groysberg and Robin Abrahams, Harvard Business Review.
Feel free to share some of these balanced life quotes
Connect with Us
Facebook Beyond the Rut
Call 361-596-3788 and leave us a voicemail.