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How To Balance Life Effortlessly

Category: Personal Power

Life Balance
Photo Courtesy Of The Half-Blood Prince

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

Life Balance is a topic which needs no introduction. All of us focus on balancing different areas of our life – work, family, personal, social etc. We desire each of these life areas to do well and sometimes we do a lot of juggling to make this possible.

However, wouldn’t it be great if we could remove the craziness, the rushing and struggling and make the entire process of life balance effortless?

How To Balance Life Effortlessly

1. Be Clear Of Your Priorities

Like they say, no one ever wished to have spent more time in office on their death bed. Why then do we keep doing such things (work ourselves to death)? What’s the point of running after and achieving goals which don’t mean anything later on? No matter how good we become at balancing life, we will not be happy if we are moving in the wrong direction.

Being clear of priorities means finding out what is important and in which order. Separate the essentials from the non-essentials. The lesser things you have on your plate, the easier it will be to balance them.

2. Strengthen The Common Base

One way of balancing life is to pick each life area and work on it. The second way to balance is to work on the common base i.e. work on those areas which will directly create a positive impact on all aspects of life. Achieve maximum output while providing minimum input by working on –

  • Timeless Principles

    We can only imagine how utterly confusing life would be if we were to lie all the time or keep running away from truth. Where would life balance be, if we are not true to our word. What would the purpose of life balance be if we cannot come from love and be love to our loved ones. We would spend far more time creating troubles and time pressing issues for ourselves rather than make life better.

    By aligning self with timeless principles of truth, love, integrity etc we enable ourselves to take right decisions even if they are difficult and stay true to them. These principles form an unwavering core within us, they give us the stability required to balance ourselves and our lives.

  • Mind, Body & Spirit

    Life, family, work, society, friends … if all of these have one obvious thing in common, then that is you. And if you are to manage and balance all of these well, shouldn’t you be balanced and fit as well? A weak mind, body or spirit will not be able to do justice to either life areas.

    By focussing on growing, strengthening and balancing yourself, you enable yourself to give each area deserving work and attention. (This of course is not a reason to become self centered and focus only on self.)

  • Time Management

    Usually the topic of balancing life revolves around proper time management which is fair enough since there are only 24 hours in a day. We cannot create more time hence, we rather learn to manage it well.

    Proper time management includes creating a work-life boundary, creating family/personal time, increasing productivity by increased/decreased use of technology, forming better habits – being organised, reducing clutter etc.

3. Stand For Yourself

Whatever effort you put in to balance your life, know your priorities, understand and work on the timeless principles, yourself or your time management is going to be useless if you do not stand for yourself. There are three essential skills which should become second nature to you if you wish to stand for yourself. They are –

  • Being Decisive

    Learn to make your own decisions and follow them through. Don’t allow anyone else to make decisions for you. No one understands your priorities, principles and commitments better than you. Taking guidance from your mentors is another matter, but the decision should always be yours. If people are going to take decisions for you, then you will keep trying to balance the outcomes of those decisions. To change the output, work on input.

  • Saying No

    Although saying no forms an important part of time management and being decisive, it deserves a special mention because without this skill, you will not be able to channel your life in the direction you want. If you wish to separate the essentials and non-essentials in your life, saying no will be required, if you wish to stay true to your principles, saying no will be required. ‘No’ is “the word” in your vocabulary which you should be most comfortable using.

  • Taking Responsibility

    Everything that has happened, is happening and will happen in your life is your responsibility. While external forces do influence our lives in undesired ways, if we give away responsibility, we give away the power to make a difference. Hence, no matter what happens, whether your decisions have gone bad, or someone elses, whether someone else has created havoc in your lives, cheated you or not stayed true to their word, take responsibility and keep the power over your life with you. Without taking the responsibility to constantly work on balancing life no matter what, a balanced life is not possible.

4. Myths About Balancing

Myths usually are trouble makers. They seem true to us and we naturally follow our truth. However, when things don’t go as planned, we fail to identify these as the cause and keep repeating our mistakes. There are three major myths about balancing as well. When people begin thinking about balancing life and start working on it, these three myths create havoc and confusion.

  • Balance Means “Equal”

    Balance means equal and hence, balancing life means distributing time equally between all areas of life. This is a myth.

    There will always be a time when one area of our life requires more attention than other. Balancing life means to listen to and be aware of each area and it’s requirements. Balancing life means accessing the wisdom within us and allocate time and attention as required to each area.

  • Balancing Formula Is Universal

    Everyone seeks to balance life. If one person has cracked the code and found how to balance life, it is ok to apply the same formula in our lives. Since we all are human beings, the formula to balance life must be universally applicable. This is a myth.

    Even though all of us are humans, we are unique individuals with unique life, priorities and needs. We can get inspired and pick and choose ideas to apply to our lives, we can learn from others success and failures; but we cannot do a copy paste. A blind copy-paste will not work. You can say, to each, his own formula.

  • Balance Is All About My Life

    We think that when we learn to manage our time, balance our life, live life based on our priorities, we have succeeded. We need to focus on balancing only our life. This is a myth.

    While predominantly balancing is about your life, an important aspect to balancing life is balancing others lives as well. Since we live in an inter-dependant world, lives tend to be inter-dependant and so does balance. For instance if life of our spouse or sibling is not balanced, sooner or later it will impact our life balance. Moreover, if their life imbalance is because of us, then it becomes our responsibility to make sensible changes in our life so that both lives can be balanced.

5. Random Tips & Ideas

Here are some random tips and ideas on and about balancing life.

  • Start small. Don’t plan to transform your entire life one shot. Go slow and steady.
  • Pick up what seems easy enough to implement first. See positive results, gain confidence and then dive into the difficult ones.
  • Have patience. It takes time to put everything back in balance.
  • Stay aware of your life, stay alert so that you can bring balance back as soon as imbalance creeps in.
  • Be present. A lot of imbalance in life is created because we are not truly present in the moment.
  • Stay physically, emotionally and mentally in the same place.
  • Balance the shoulds and wants in your life. Shoulds are those things which you have to do, which is expected of you and wants are those which you want to do.
  • Make mistakes. But don’t keep making the same ones again and again.
  • Balance is not about ‘either/or’. Balance is about ‘and’. Be creative to find solutions to your problem. Sometimes, you can have the cake and eat it too.
  • Balance is about holding on and letting go. Key is in figuring out what to hold onto and what to let go.
  • Balancing life is an ongoing process. It never ends.
  • Enjoy the process. If you are not enjoying, then you are probably doing something wrong. Remember, the idea is to balance ‘effortlessly’.

Stacey @ CreateABalance has initiated a Life Balance Group Writing Project. This article is my submission to the same. To read more submissions by other bloggers, follow the link.

avani mehta

Reader's Comments

  1. Lance | October 14th, 2008 at 10:49 pm

    Very nice article Avani. What I especially liked was your concept that a balanced life is not just about our own individual life – but tied also to the lives around us. How true! Sometimes balance in our own life can come from helping others to balance their lives as well. An important point to remember.

    Lance´s last blog post..Life’s A Balancing Act

    Reply to this comment
  2. Evelyn Lim | October 14th, 2008 at 11:04 pm

    I like your suggestion of using creative solutions to finding life balance. My schedule can be very hectic and it is not easy to make time for everything. If there can be creative solutions, I believe that I can accomplish much more!

    Evelyn Lim´s last blog post..Blog Action Day 08: Poverty

    Reply to this comment
  3. Shamelle- TheEnhanceLife | October 15th, 2008 at 5:26 am

    When life is busy, or all your energy is focused on a special project, it’s all too easy to find yourself “off balance”, not paying enough attention to important areas of your life. While you need to have drive and focus if you’re going to get things done, taking this too far can lead to frustration and intense stress.

    Comprehensive post… thanks

    Shamelle- TheEnhanceLife´s last blog post..People-Pleasing: The Price Of Being Too Nice And What To Do About It

    Reply to this comment
  4. Stacey / Create a Balance | October 15th, 2008 at 8:11 am

    Yeah! Thank you for participating in the Life Balance Group Writing Project. I agree that being clear of your priorities is very important. Be clear and keep them in the forefront of your life. Live your life with the intention to incorporate your priorities into your life.

    I also love your myths and the reminder we need to focus on balancing our lives and the lives of others.

    Stacey / Create a Balance´s last blog post..My First Blogosphere Interview

    Reply to this comment
  5. Matthew | October 15th, 2008 at 10:53 am

    Great – my personal favourite is eliminating multi-tasking. Do one thing at a time, do it well, do it deep, then move on. You can tick off your list of achievements one at a time and quantify what you’ve got done …

    Reply to this comment
  6. Marelisa | October 15th, 2008 at 11:11 am

    Hi Avani: I agree that it’s a myth that creating balance means distributing time equally between all areas of life. At each point in life different areas become more important. Maybe in your twenties your main focus is your career and most of your time and energy go there. Then in your thirties it might be starting a family, in your forties it might be travel, and so on. I also agree that finding balance is an ongoing process 🙂

    Marelisa´s last blog post..Eradicating Poverty Through Human Ingenuity – Blog Action Day 2008

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  7. Jennifer | October 15th, 2008 at 12:57 pm

    Great post Avani. You have noted some very important things here in finding balance.

    I had found myself out of balance. Recently I decided to make finding balance one of my top priorities/goals. I used to tell myself that I didn’t have enough time to do everything, that I would always struggle with balance. Well guess what. I did struggle with it. Once I made it a goal and actually believed it was possible to find balance then my mind started thinking of ways to find this balance. I noted what was important to me, I wrote some things down and now I am having much more balance in my life now and it feels great. I haven’t gotten exactly to where I want to be, but am getting there. Changing my self talk and believing it was possible was the key for me. A lot of it goes back to my last post of the reality we create for ourselves. Tom Volkar’s comment on that post has a lot of wisdom for this idea of balance.

    Jennifer´s last blog post..What Reality Have You Created?

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  8. Cath Lawson | October 15th, 2008 at 1:22 pm

    Hi Avani – these are wonderful tips. As you say – it can get more complicated as others around you need to balance their lives too – you can’t do it for them. I hadn’t really thought about that before but ti helps a lot. Thank you.

    Cath Lawson´s last blog post..Be A Business Success Story, No Matter What Your Age

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  9. Ari Koinuma | October 15th, 2008 at 2:32 pm

    As always, your post is so nicely put together.

    I liked your focus on the common base quite a bit. That’s a fresh way of looking at it.

    Finding a balance is always a… balancing act. 😉 I find that I don’t get off-balance as much as I used to, but nevertheless I notice the times when I do. It’s like driving. You’re actually not driving perfectly straight, ever. You’re constantly going off of the axis, then adjusting. I feel that as I get my handle on things, I remain closer to the axis. I still notice the deviation, but I stop and recognize that I have made progress in this area and while adjustments are still constantly needed, all in all I’m not doing too badly.

    ari

    Ari Koinuma´s last blog post..Reader Question: How Can a Marriage Heal from Depression?

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  10. Davina | October 15th, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    Hi Avani. I like the idea of starting small. So often we try to make a change overnight and when we “fail” we give up. It’s self-sabotage.

    Davina´s last blog post..Blog Action: Pass The Change, Be The Change

    Reply to this comment
  11. Barbara Swafford | October 17th, 2008 at 3:25 am

    Hi Avani – As I was reading the part about balance, I thought of my blogging schedule and how I need to find balance. With blogging being such an addictive “hobby”, I find myself turning to it when I should be doing other things. I think I’ll take your advice and start small.

    BTW: I love the photo – the guy looks so happy and carefree.

    Reply to this comment
  12. axel g | November 3rd, 2008 at 6:31 pm

    Learning to say no is easier said than done…

    But once we find the strength to say it, life becomes so much easier.

    Many great pointers +_+

    axel g´s last blog post..100% Success

    Reply to this comment

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