We live in a chaotic world. We live in a world that puts a lot of demands on us, or perhaps we put “us” in that world. Perhaps we create too much chaos in our own lives. How do we slow down? How do we put balance in our lives? How do we find those moments to actually sit down and have a talk with our inner being, and realize that we need balance, and how to obtain it?
I believe the key is having some type of balance in one’s life. Balance is a hard thing to find in the busy everyday world. We find ourselves going here, and going there, meeting the demands of a whirlwind. We find ourselves doing things that we do not really want to, stealing our energy away from those things that we want to do. Such as watching televisions shows that are mediocre, time spent with people who drain you, doing tasks that could be structured into a more positive approach. We give our time doing things where we wish we had said no to begin with, taking time away from our family, our friends, or ourselves.
We need to learn how to balance our lives, we need to learn to say no to certain things, and give us back some of that “me” time. We need to learn how to reorganize our lives and give us back balance. We need to learn to live by the 80-20 rule, where you identify the 20% of work the yields 80% of the results. I know by now you are probably thinking how can there be balance in any 80-20. There can be!
You might wonder where this 80-20 rule came from, it is called, Pareto's Principle - The 80-20 Rule. “In 1906, Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto created a mathematical formula to describe the unequal distribution of wealth in his country, observing that twenty percent of the people owned eighty percent of the wealth. In the late 1940s, Dr. Joseph M. Juran inaccurately attributed the 80/20 Rule to Pareto, calling it Pareto's Principle. While it may be misnamed, Pareto's Principle or Pareto's Law as it is sometimes called, can be a very effective tool to help you manage effectively."
But I am talking about putting balance in your life using the 80-20 rule, not for business! To think about using that balance in your chaotic life by using every day methods, and things that can make your life easier, and less stressful. Trying to put it into perspective and think about the results you can produce. Of course this is a general rule, not an irrefutable statistic. For some action, the breakdowns can be a little different, but I am talking about using it as a general rule in your every day life.
You have just been called by your child's school and asked to bring 100 cookies for a party the next day, and you are wondering how could you EVER find the time to bake with your busy schedule. Don't. Order them from a bakery instead, and all you have to do is pick them up and deliver! And then you can spend that time that would have been baking, spending it with your family, or taking a long bubble bath.
You have to clean your house for a big celebration, and the entire family is coming over, and your children are yelling they want time! How do you juggle it all? You can, spend an hour cleaning and take little breaks in there, sit down with your children and have some milk and cookies for 10-15 minutes. And then go back to cleaning for another hour, and then take another 10-15 minutes with your children, get out some coloring books and crayons. You are probably thinking, "This is yet another mess I will have to clean up!" No, think about it, you are giving your children some quality time in the middle of that chaotic world. They are going to remember those moments, instead of yelling at them to get out of the way, and not spending any time with them at all. Your house might not be as clean as you had wished, but you are using quality time, and a balance. And applying that 80-20 rule.
Your wife told you that you do not spend enough time with her, and you wonder how in the world can you possibly spend any more time with her, with work, and family time already zapping your energy? If you have an hour for lunch, use one of those hours and invite your wife to lunch. Tell her to dress alluring for you, and take her out during the day. Show her that she is just as important during the day as she is at night. Or make a date night. Pick one night a week, find a babysitter, and take her out. Call it your date night, and have fun! It doesn't have to cost much, what is important is the time you give her. If you have to give up one night of sports, or one night with your buddies, do it!
You can apply this balance of 80-20 to everything in your life! From family, friends, work, playtime, relationships, diet, even if you are alone. It is all about balance and what is important. And trying to find that balance and be less stressful.
The holidays are upon us and you have TONS of shopping to do. Shop online, in your pajamas, curled up in a nice warm house, without fighting the crowds. And look for online coupons, discount shopping, look for those specials that are online only.
You have presents to wrap and that takes a lot of time! Buy gift bags! They are cheaper and just as pretty, and they take less time!
You have to have the family over for the Holidays and that takes up so much time! Make it simple, buy already prepared food, frozen Hors d'oeuvres, deli prepared cheese and meat platters. Make simple one-pot meals in the crock-pot. Use plastic dishes, plastic silverware, plastic cups. They make such a pretty variety these days, and when it is done, throw it all away! You won't have to spend hours and hours in the kitchen doing dishes, while your guests/family are in the other room enjoying!
It is better to have the memories of the Holidays to carry with us, than remembering how many dishes you had to do! Or how many stores you had to go to find that perfect gift! Or standing in long lines, or having to fight the traffic, the weather, or spending hours upon hours wrapping gifts!
Get organized! This too will lend to a balanced life. Write down those important dates to remember, write down those tasks that have to be done. Sit down on Sunday and write things out for the week.
Remember, life is supposed to be lived, not dreaded! There has to be a balance or it becomes too chaotic. Spend those precious moments in your life, doing the things that matter. With the people that matter the most! As I said earlier, even if alone, you must still have the balance, or you will be just as stressed out as the person who has ten kids, a wife, and five dogs! It is all about the balance we put in our lives. I learned a very important lesson when my husband passed away. Take time out of your busy schedule to enjoy what matters the most. Because we might not have a tomorrow!
"Be aware of wonder. Live a balanced life - learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some." ~Robert Fulghum~
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