How To Create A Game Plan To Juggle It All
Do you remember a time when things just magically happened? How about a time when 24 hours in a day seemed like an eternity? Or a time when letting things slip through the cracks only affected you? But, now that we’re adulting… the struggle to juggle is real!
We have become the ones making it all happen. We are the ones who notice (and obsess) over every little thing that doesn’t get done. It can seem like we’re in this constant battle of managing our to-do lists versus managing our lives.
Everyone is trying to find the perfect work-life balance or parent-spouse balance or friend-sibling balance, etc. But I think this notion of balance is one we need to dismiss. We should be searching for work-life/parent-spouse/friend-sibling harmony instead.
Balance implies equality, giving of you equally. It is task oriented. It suggests that simply adding or subtracting something will make things better or more balanced. It is rigid and simplistic. Harmony occurs when things are in agreement. It is fluid like life. It can change at any given moment and is rooted in personal principle.
In order to juggle it all, one must be able to ebb and flow effectively. This requires some basic self-knowledge and a good game plan.
Here are five questions to help you cultivate your game plan:
What can you go without, permanently or temporarily?
Identify all of the activities and routines in your life. This includes everything from hair and nail appointments to social groups to your job(s). What are you doing out of obligation? What are you doing out of love for yourself or for someone else?
Now, what is left on your list that doesn’t fall into either category? If your reasoning is ‘just because’ or ‘I’ve been doing it for as long as I remember’ and there is no real ‘why’ behind it, get rid of it! So often, we are torturing ourselves with our many commitments even though we cannot justify why we partake in certain activities. It is taking up precious mental space and likely blocking new blessings and opportunities. You are less likely to welcome new thoughts, ideas, and opportunities with an overflowing plate.
Who needs you the most?
This one is hard because it’s a truth we don’t like to face: we can’t be all things to all the people in our lives all of the time. It’s impossible. We can’t be fully present with multiple people at the same time. There are times when a specific child needs more attention than the others. Then there are moments when your kids will be okay, and you need to choose your spouse. There are times when your parents or your siblings or your friends or even your boss may win out. We constantly have to ascertain who needs us the most at any given moment. This inherently forces us to check-in more consistently, particularly with people outside of our home, so there is less of a dire need from any one person.
Who do you need the most?
This question is an important follow up to number two because it is unfair for us to need something from someone if we are not giving to them. Your best friend or spouse may understand all that you have going on, but it isn’t fair to neglect them. Even if this person doesn’t need you as much, do NOT have them last on your list! When we have people who help to fill our tanks, we can give so much more back to the world and others.
Who are you willing to disappoint, and in what order?
Disappointing people is inevitable. If someone needs you at any given moment, you're the most important person in the room But, how do some of those people, i.e. your boss, co-workers, cousins, friends or the PTA president treat you when they don’t need you? You have to be willing to say ‘no’ to some things and some people…without guilt.
What or who fills your tank?
This IS the MOST important question of them all. We have to be whole in order to give so much of ourselves to everyone else. How can you be your best self if you aren’t giving yourself the best you can give you? I am always number one on my list. This does not mean that I always come first or put my needs before others. But it does mean that I always find time for myself. I, personally, have a 30-minute a day policy. It doesn’t matter how busy I am or how tired I may be, I always find 30 minutes in the day to zone out and fuel up.
Juggling is a fine art. There are no concrete answers and every day you have to make life decisions. Being aware of these answers and your ‘why’ will help to ease the stress, doubt, and guilt. It is knowing that you are doing the best you can. It is knowing your priorities. It is the ability to fluctuate. It is giving yourself grace. And every day you get something done is a good day!
About The Author
I’m Asha (pronounced “Tasha” but without the “T”) – wife, mom, daughter, friend and so much more. I am constantly on a mission to live authentically and want to inspire others to do the same.
My biggest pet peeve is being labeled and put into a box. Every day has the ability to change us and we should be open to the refinement process that is life! Authenticallyasha.com is a little piece of my world that I hope encourages you to be free, be true and most importantly, be you!