Life Balance or Life Juggling?

Do you think of your life as a balancing act or as a juggling act? Here are some tips to help you balance your life.

For many of us, “balancing” home and work is not a balancing act so much as a juggling act. If you’ve ever seen the guy on the old late night show spinning plates on dowels, you might compare your life to that. Sure, you have your plates in balance, but you have so many plates, you’re in danger of dropping a few of them any minute now.


I think the first step in transforming our lives from juggling act to balancing act is to stop long enough to list everything we have going on, at work and at home.

You might be surprised by how many things you have on your list of commitments and obligations. You will almost certainly be surprised by how few of those commitments and obligations really matter, and how little they matter.

The thing is, we have all these commitments, and we try to hold them all up in the air at once, and we believe that’s balance because that’s what we’ve been told balance is.

But that’s not real balance. Here’s what real balance would look like.

In a balanced life, you would know what is important, and you would focus on the most important things in your life. You would have time to do things that needed to be done, but you would not spend time doing things that you don’t need to do, or that maybe no one needs to do.

It wouldn’t be a matter of finding time for work and for home and family, because each of those areas of your life would have a time and place in your life. You wouldn’t have to “make” time for these things, because there would automatically be time.

Would you still be working as much, in a balanced life? That depends on you, really. What’s balanced for me may not be balanced for you. You may be comfortable working 60 hours a week and be able to spend the time you need with your family on weekends. Someone else may want to work 20 hours a week and spend 20 hours doing volunteer work and then spend the rest of their time with their family.

The most important thing about balance is that it is very, very personal. You must determine your own balance, no one else can do that for you. If anyone offers, please don’t take them up on it; that’s the most effective way to end up really miserable. No one else can manage your life for you, though you may think, sometimes, that you wish they could.

The only way to really balance your life is to find the things that matter to you, and use the “big rocks” process. Imagine you have a jar and some rocks. If you put the big rocks in first, you can put lots of smaller rocks around those, then gravel, then sand, then water. But fill the jar with water first, and you can’t fit a single rock in. You have probably heard this analogy, but I use it here because it’s a great example.

To balance your life:

  • Start by thinking about what’s important to you.
  • How can you make those important things your priority?
  • For one day, do the important things first. Rinse and repeat.

Thanks to do you LIVE or simply EXIST for including this post in the Carnival of the Life Worth Living.

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