Our lives are just so busy, full of things that seem important, and we approach them as though the world could end if we did not get it all done. I was speaking with a client recently who works in banking who told me of a recent 17-hour day because her Boss insisted that a piece of work was urgent.
Nothing is that urgent. The world does not end if something has to wait until the next day. The sad thing is that if we were all that committed to our personal lives, to our families and friends then there would be balance. But what is the first thing to suffer when we hit a “world might end” draw on our time? Yep, our families, friends and even us pay the price.
So what would it take for you to commit to you? What would it take for you to block out time for your family, friends and yourself in your diary and make that as sacrosanct as the demands you deal with at work?
A deep and abiding commitment to balance. Recently I had a client come on retreat, two days away from the world to review her life. One of the intentions she set was to look at the balance in her life. She has a 4 year old and she had begun to realise that there is only ever one 4th birthday party.
Her feeling was that she could not carve out any more time for her family, relationship and friends but as we chatted she began to see that it was actually her choice. Rather than piling up the “world might end” things to get done she saw she could shift the balance. Yes it was going to take longer to reach her goals but she will now get to live her life whilst walking towards her goals rather than running and not noticing that her life was passing her by.
The first step to that is making a 100% commitment. 99.9% is not enough. Just consider how a 99.9% would affect certain work situations:
One hour of unsafe drinking water every month
Two unsafe landings at Heathrow every day
20,000 incorrectly filled prescriptions every year
22,000 transactions deducted from the wrong bank account each hour
Your heart failing to beat 32,000 times each year
When you look at it like that 100% commitment is crucial. And it is crucial to create balance in your life.
So where to start?
Firstly work out where you are not in balance. Do a stock take of where you are right now. Then be honest with yourself and only put down the things that you want to change, there is no room for “should” here. “Shoulds” are things we take on that are not necessarily from the heart. Balance is created when we are listening to our hearts.
Once you have done your stock take pick one thing that you’d like to shift the balance with. I say one because if you try to do everything at once it will simply be too much. Slowly is how you create balance, one thing at a time. Once that commitment has been fulfilled you can look at your list again and pick another thing.
This is particularly helpful if you are employed and not the master of your own time. You may need to do some re-educating of your boss and that needs a soft touch.
Then, make the commitment, the 100% commitment. Not just to yourself but include the other person if there is someone else involved or chose an accountability buddy to make the commitment too. This does not mean that they nag you about it, it is more that they witness you and at agreed times simply ask you about it. It is proven that we are 98% more likely to follow through on our commitments when we have told our commitment to someone.
And the bonus for doing all this is that not only do you get to bring balance back into life but also you get to feel so good. There is nothing better than making a commitment and doing it! It is great for your self-esteem, and you are more likely to continue in the face of success.
Your life is for living every day. As I say at the bottom of all my emails; “Life is too short not to live it to the full – every day.” Ensuring you have balance in your daily life is a key to this. So go enjoy life – it’s supposed to be fun!