i am usually the one friends ask for tips on balancing it all. i work part time from home, homeschool my kids, teach dance twice a week, host a conference, and serve and lead at church. i am the one (they think) is so busy doing all the things and they want to know HOW. and truthfully, i don't feel busy. i do wear a lot of hats but i do not feel like i have plates spinning or balls in the air. rarely do i find myself stressed or stretched too thin. i know...eyeroll. that is not the answer people want when they are looking for advice on balancing it all! i don't take any pride in this, believe me - this is just the way it is. shrug. i'm not busy. i often have time during the week to enjoy brunch with friends, go do something fun and spontaneous with my kids, i take a catnap about once a week or as needed, and i am in bed most nights by 9pm. and here is what i think is key: in order to find the balance, we first have to address the "all" part. what is "it all" that we are trying to balance? and more importantly, why is it off balance?
because the goal is not to live juggling. life is not a balancing act.
the goal is to find the sweet spot where the balance is natural and easy.
i'm going to go out on a limb here and say that if we feel out of balance, it's because we have too much going on. if we feel like there is "not enough time in the day" most days, it's probably because we are trying to balance the important things WITH the things of lesser importance. perhaps we are trying to juggle balls of distraction with our balls of priorities? maybe we subconsciously believe that being busy is the same as being productive, important, worthy.
"Sometimes, we’re the ones reluctant to hit that ‘pause’ button because we like that we are busy. Busy makes us feel important...Our busyness doesn't define who we are. Our state of busyness doesn't dictate our worth or our value as a human being." -Rachel Moreland
i believe distractions and busyness are the root of imbalance. we are all balancing stuff, and those that are doing it well have figured out how to successfully limit and avoid busyness and distractions. i recently read this quote by Prof. Bruce Hindmarsh about being busy: "Busyness is moral laziness...God has given us just enough time to do what we need to do moment by moment...Every moment is a sacrament where time touches eternity and there is exactly enough time to do what God has called us to do." yes and amen.
if we examine our days, truly take a microscope to our time, i think we'd be able to clearly pinpoint the distractions and busyness that make us feel crazy, frazzled, stressed out, and exhausted.
time management is important, yes. but even more important, i think, is time maximization. there is a reason why i dedicate my space for words online to "making the most if it"...priority management and protecting my time is a top personal goal and an area where i am always wanting to grow and improve. i don't want to get to the end of my life, look back and wonder where the time went. i want a life marked by meaningful moments, intentional memories, natural, easy balance, and steadfastness.