Over the years, I have had my hand in multiple projects. I have also taken on my fair share of more than one job at a time. At my busiest, I was working in my mother’s real estate office, running my Pure Romance business, AND part-time catering on the weekends. People ask me how I do it and sometimes even poke fun at me for doing so much at once. My ex sent me a picture a few weeks ago with the caption: this is you.
Though I am not a nurse (clearly) I just function better when I am busy. There are some people in the world who thrive in a “one thing at a time” mentality…and then there’s me. So now that the innocent poking fun at myself is over, I will explain just how I do it. First thing’s first: I was not born with the ability to multitask. Quite on the contrary, I am not a big fan of it. Which is why I feel the need to state the difference between multitasking and balancing activities. Mutlitasking is performing more than one task at a time, like eating dinner and watching television while simultaneously checking your email. Full attention is not given to any of these tasks and this can lead to stress and an under appreciation of dinner for that matter. Balancing is giving full attention to each task as you perform it or experience it which actually allows for the task to be finished quicker and you in turn achieve full satisfaction and efficiency.
Now I am far from perfect and leading the ever sought “balanced life”, but I feel I do well enough. The president of our company, Pat Riley gave us cards on the last day of Winner’s Edge training. He told us that if we lived balanced lives, our business, our relationships, and our lives would surely benefit. The kicker? It’s not that hard, but it does take some introspection and planning.
First, get out a piece of paper and list these categories:
- Physical Self (Appearance, fitness, maintenance)
- Business/Career (Work)
- Community (Service, participating in the greater good, charity)
- Spiritual (Connecting in with your beliefs and principals. Finding a higher sense of self. Does not particularly mean God or attending church)
- Fun and Recreation (Enjoying the little things that truly only make you happy)
- Partner (Spending time with your significant other)
Now that you have the categories written down, rate yourself from 1-10 on how you’re doing. 1 of course is low or near non existent in that category and 10 is you spend most of your time in this category.
Okay, good. Didn’t want you to cheat. If you are at a 1, you may be beating yourself up right now. It’s okay. No really it is. That just means that you need to involve yourself a little more in that category. For instance, I rated myself a “3” on the community participation scale in January when I first took the assessment. I now help at a local community theatre and I am also giving some time to planning the Women’s Build in Fort Mill. You don’t have to devote a ton of time each week, just enough each month that you are actually participating. Now, if you gave yourself a 10 in any of the categories, chance’s are you need to scale back on that activity. If you are a 10 on the social scale but only a “2” in your career, skipping a few happy hours or movie nights to clock in a few extra hours helping on a special project at work will bring that “2” up a notch or three. The key to a balanced life is NOT to have all 10’s but, in fact, to have 5’s across the board.
It’s been an uphill battle lately, especially with work, but I am beginning to get the hang of it. On weeks where I know I am going to be in the office or taking clients out for a few weeks straight with no weekends, I don’t just sit at my computer towards the end of the day, browsing through emails, waiting for the clock to hit 5 PM so I feel like I had a full day. Nope, I’ve done all I can at the office for the day. I actually come home, clean house, exercise, spend time with Tim, craft, or kick back and watch an episode of my favorite show on Hulu. Overdoing it with one task over a long period of time will leave you feeling burnt out.
Next week, I will share the secret to actually making time for the balanced life you always wanted.
How did your self assessment turn out? What aspects of your life do you need to improve upon? How do you plan on doing it? Leave comments below!