Various & Sundry Thoughts On Developing A Healthy Overall Life Balance

In today's hectic world, I think it's more important than ever to not just have a healthy “work/life balance” but a healthy overall “life” balance.  The demands on our time and attention are numerous and relentless. From earning a living, building and/or maintaining healthy and strong personal relationships, being an engaged and active parent, trying to keep active and physically fit, trying to “give back” in more than just monetary ways, and trying to find time to simply relax and decompress.  All of these things are critical components of a balanced life and unfortunately they often conflict with each other.  For many of us, something inevitably falls through the cracks, gets put off for later with the hope that maybe we will get to them eventually or are given up on entirely.  For me to remain sane, happy and feeling fulfilled, I need to have a balance of these things in my life.  Unfortunately, figuring out how to strike that perfect balance can be super tough.  The path of least resistance is to just say “Fuck it, I’ll figure it out as I go.” but as we all know, that hardly ever works.

What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence, a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it.
— Herbert Simon, Nobel laureate

For the record, I don’t have it all figured out but I do have a process that seems to be working pretty well for me.  I started writing this post with the intent to share my thoughts on the subject but it has quickly grown into a much larger body of work than I originally intended.  I found myself trying to be brief so the post wouldn’t be too long but in the end that seemed like a bad idea.  I decided to break it up into a few posts so that I can go a bit deeper in each of the main sections.  If you haven’t already subscribed to receive update, please do so.  I’ll post each section in succession for continuity and I’ll send out updates via the mailing list with the details.  Hopefully this information can help some of you out there.

Step 1: Getting My Priorities In Order

The first thing that I had to do was to list and rank my priorities. I started by physically writing them down in order of importance to me. I tried to make sure that I included all aspects of my life such as my marriage, my children and their needs, my professional life, my fitness routine, my friendships, my hobbies, etc.  My first stab at the list put things in the order that I thought my priorities “should” be in.  Next I thought about how I actually allocate my time and came up with another view.  Finally, I settled on the ranking that I ultimately wanted for right now.  Also, one last thing, the priority ranking is something that I revisit a few times per year.  After all, priorities sometimes change right?  Having said that, here is what I came up with for my priority ranking:

  1. Family Life (Being a husband and a father)
  2. Health & Fitness
  3. Career & Professional Life
  4. Friends
  5. Recreation
  6. Continued Learning
  7. Faith

If you haven't done so already, I encourage you to take the time to come up with your own priority list.  Also, if you are willing to share, I'd love to see it.

More to follow on this topic.  Please stay tuned....