When I think about balance the first thing that comes to mind is a seesaw. When two people are on the seesaw, the lighter one goes up in the air faster and the heavier one stays down on the ground longer. They are never completely level, unless they work to get there. If we are talking about creating balance in your life, we are never talking about just two things.
Demands on your time
There are always lots of different things demanding your attention. Even if you are a single person, you have your home, your work life, your extended family, your hobbies, and your volunteer activities. These are just the things that occur to me. I’m sure there are others.
If you have your own family, however large or small it may be, it demands lots of your time and attention.
Life is a juggling act
The fact is that life will never be completely balanced. We will always be wanting to spend either more time at work or more time with our family or more time for ourselves. Life by its very nature is more of a juggling than a balancing act.
There are times when we hit a sweet spot. Everything in our home runs smoothly and things are going well at work but then we hit a roadblock. Something changes to upset the balance in our life and suddenly life is once again unbalanced.
It might be that something breaks in the house. Maybe the washing machine broke down and once it’s fixed you have a mountain of laundry to do because you haven’t done laundry during the intervening weeks.
How do you get that back under control?
It could be that someone in the family was sick and needed more time and attention from you. So, naturally, some chores or volunteer activities were put on the backburner until that person was better.
This is what happens in life. It is always changing. Much like the seesaw, life has its ups and downs.
Reason to get organized
One of the best reasons in the world to develop rock solid organizing habits and routines is so that when your life hits a roadblock or a bump in the road you are confident in your ability to pull things back together to regain the balance in your life.
Develop good habits and routines
Take the time to develop systems for getting the chores done in your home. When chores are done regularly, they take very little time to do. It’s when chores are neglected that they take a long time to complete.
You can create a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly schedule to take care of the routine household chores. Then stick to the schedule as much as possible.
Be sure to delegate chores to other members of the household. You don’t want or need to be the only one doing chores. Everyone, down to the youngest member of the family (age 3 and older) can participate in helping around the house.
The more you involve children in the household chores the better. This way they grow up learning that chores are just a part of daily life, not a punishment.
Make a list of your other activities. When do you do them? How much time each day, week, or month do they require? Which ones are your favorites? Are there some that you do just because and others that feed your soul?
If you are looking to put better balance in your life examine how many other activities are competing for your time.
Understand that when someone asks you to do something and you say ‘yes’ that you are in fact saying ‘no’ to something already in your schedule.
Be careful when you agree to take on a new responsibility. A good phrase to keep in your back pocket is ‘let me check my schedule’. This gives you time to walk away, check your schedule, discover how you will accommodate this new activity or if you will turn it down.
It’s ok to say ‘no’ from time to time.
Identify non-negotiable responsibilities
Put better balance in your life by identifying the things you want to do for yourself and your family, the responsibilities you have with your family and your home.
Then identify the responsibilities you have at work.
Finally, take into account the things you want to do. Remember to set aside time to take care of yourself so that you can take care of your family.
When you are organized and chaos happens, which it will, you have skills in the way of habits and routines to get rid of the chaos and restore order. Just like the seesaw there are times when things will be well organized and times when there is clutter around.
Is better balance in your life something you seek to acquire? Join our Clear Space for You clutter support group to learn how to develop better organizing skills which in turn will give you better balance in your life. Click here to read more articles on this topic.
Diane N. Quintana is a Certified Professional Organizer® owner of DNQ Solutions, LLC and co-owner of Release, Repurpose, Reorganize in Atlanta, Georgia. Diane specializes in residential and home-office organizing and working with people affected by ADD, hoarding challenges, and chronic disorganization. Please contact Diane for a free 30-minute phone consultation.