How to Balance Your Life (and Manage Your Time)

What it feels like when life gets a little out of hand.

Lately, I’ve noticed that I struggle with balance in life.

When I get excited about something my eyes go wide, I put my head down and get to work.

Unfortunately, I get lost in the moment & completely lose track of everything around me. My pursuits consume me, and then eventually I realize that my life is crumbling.

I’ve forgotten to maintain the other areas in my life!

So naturally, what do I do?

I put all my energy into one area of my life in an attempt to mend it back together!

But it doesn’t work very well…

Whenever it seems that I’m progressing in one area, another will cry out for help.

Instead of balancing my time and energy properly, I play a game of catch-up to where now there’s just too much for me to handle. Often I get overwhelmed and give up!

This annihilates my progress. It’s discouraging. I just can’t stick to something long-term.

When there’s something that we want to improve on requiring practice, it eventually fades into nothingness when we forget about it and start something else.

Does this sound like you?

Do you start something and then forget about it a week later?

Maybe you get drawn to something new and then completely forget about the other things you had going on.

Perhaps now you’ve lost your momentum.

These days it seems like everything is competing for our attention.

Does it seem you just can’t make the progress you’re looking for, and struggle to stick to something?

Or maybe you’re like me and you feel like life lately is a difficult balancing act.

I understand the frustration.

Today I’m going to help you out.

But first, let me ask…

How do you spend your time?

There’s a big difference between being productive and feeling productive. One gives you results and the other will falsely inflate your ego, making you feel like you were productive… And then at the end of it, you look back and wonder what happened?

But you don’t have an answer.

I mean, you can plan ahead and use your time efficiently. You can go to the store, see friends, go out to a restaurant, go to the park et cetera. You had a productive day right? I mean it’s not like you were sitting on the couch.

You were “busy” but what did you actually accomplish? Did you reach your goals?

No, time was used for the wrong things.

I’m a prime example of this. I tend to “feel” productive instead of “being” productive.

I’ll wake up excited and eager for the day ahead. All the easy jobs get done first.

Hitting up the store for a few things will free up the rest of my day for everything else. Great idea! I mean I learned this growing up so it must work… I’ll be able to go to bed with a nice feeling of accomplishment knowing I got as much done as I could.

But then as soon as I finish all these little tasks, a dozen more pop up.

The problem is that I don’t even realize what’s happening… I’m adding more useless items to my list to where it just piles up and gives me anxiety.

By the time I’ve managed to complete everything, there’s no more time left to do what’s important.

Was I really being productive? What did I actually get done?

I never even got to what I actually meant to!

All that work and now it seems I have nothing to show for it. I’m over here feeling good about myself but I’m really just battling a never-ending to-do list. I’m just wasting my time and spinning my wheels.

My day is pretty much coming to an end and I don’t have any time for anything else. I’ve just wasted a day and I’m no longer moving forward, but instead, I’m moving backward.

Or some days something grabs my attention and I get sidetracked for the entire day!

An example of this could be when I’m watching hours of useless YouTube videos or when I find myself endlessly scrolling through social media.

And then I wonder where all my time went and complain that I never have enough time to do anything!!

So pay attention to how you spend the time during your day, always do the important things first! Cut the shit out and have fun when you actually plan to.

Luckily for you, I’ve found something that will help because it’s made a world of difference for me!

Something that will help you balance your time and help you balance your life.

Use a reminder app.

These apps aren’t anything special but they keep me on track and allow me to stick to something long-term.

A simple reminder is all you need for things that need to be done regularly, even if it’s only a short time every day.

The key here is to do it even if you don’t feel like it. You won’t always feel like it, but when you start you may not be able to stop!

We live in a modern world, and it’s a blessing to have the technology we can lean on. Especially for attaining some goals!

Something as simple as a routine reminder can keep us consistent. A 15-20 minute session is really all you need or split up your sessions throughout the week. This method is a miracle for busy schedules. Set a timer and try it out!

Remember that consistency is what brings progress…and progress leads to success.

But don’t worry if you don’t finish something. You’ll get back at it again tomorrow. Believe it or not, I am a firm believer in practicing the art of not finishing. When your mind starts to wander or your energy drops to the point where you aren’t making any more progress, for the time being, drop it.

Here are two examples of things I need a reminder for.

One reminder I need is to read. I don’t have all the time in the world and I can forget to read. (I exclusively read digitally.)

(But here’s a tip: if you seriously don’t have the time or you struggle with reading – go ahead and sign up for an audible account. Listening to someone read a book to you frees your time for other things as well. Okay, technically it’s cheating in my opinion but if you are still gaining from it – who cares?)

Another reminder I need is for my workouts. Days off from the gym are necessary and whenever I take them I tend to lose my momentum. I either forget about working out or I get lazy. A simple routine reminder keeps my mind focused on my goals.

A tool like this is essential and can help you make great strides, but it’s no substitute for negligence!

Balance. Balance. Balance.

I want you to remember how important balance is in life.

What happens if you’ve become a successful workaholic and forget to make time for life?

Let me tell you something…

I know people who work too much. I mean way too much! They spend so much time working that everything else in their life fades away. Work is so much of a priority that they don’t leave any time for family, friends, or hobbies! They work and work and work until retirement creeps upon them. Then they realize that they have nothing left to cherish or look forward to because they never made time for life. This is not a good place to be in! Unfortunately, for many people that becomes the end of them.

So remember, it’s important to be focused and committed, that’s how we attain success but always stop and smell the roses or you will burn out!

I’m going to leave you with one final thing.

Rocks, Pebbles, & Sand: A Story About How to Prioritize Your Time

A university professor took a glass jar and filled it with large stones. Then he asked his class if the jar was full. They all agreed that it was full.

Then he poured smaller pebbles into the glass until they overflowed and he shook his jar. The pebbles filled the empty spaces in-between the large stones. The professor asked his students if the jar was full again and they all agreed that this time it was full and that nothing else could fit.

He took it once again and poured sand into the jar. The sand filled all the tiny spaces in-between the small pebbles. Again he asked his audience if it was full this time. Everyone including himself agreed that this time it was truly full and nothing else could fit.

So what does this mean?

The jar represents your life. The large rocks represent the big important things in your life like your health, friends, and family. The pebbles signify the other important things in life like work or school. The sand represents the remaining small things like material possessions and menial things like to-do lists.

If you were to fill the jar with sand first, it would fill all the space in the jar leaving no room at all for anything else let alone any rocks or pebbles.

The same thing applies to our lives. If you spend too much time on the little stuff, you won’t have any room to focus on the things that actually matter in life like the big stones – our health, friends, and family.

Prioritize the large rocks first. Take care of yourself and spend quality time with friends and family above everything else. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness & wellbeing first!

The rest…is pebbles and sand – they will always find space.

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