The Juggles Metaphor – How to Find Life-Work Balance and Handle Your Life

This is a post I have wanted to write for a long time.
Months ago I wrote a post about how the 4 areas of your life work together and about finding a good balance in life.

Lori of Life, for instance and I had a long discussion in the comment section about how to handle the 4 areas.

“Lori: It’s challenging to keep them all balanced and happy. Setting that goal is an essential first step. Like you say: “Make sure all 4 major parts of your life are a part of your dreams so that none gets neglected.”

Do you notice, though, how difficult it is? Seems a little like juggling – you get three balls in the air and then, augh! drop one. Apart from setting goals to do this, how to you give equal focus to each area? How do you make sure you don’t drop a ball?

Daniel: Great points Lori and I agree it is all but impossible to give each area an equal focus.
I don’t think you need to have an equal focus. I mean you work 8 hours/day, but you don’t need to think about your health 8 hours, a 30 minute workout and a little thought while in the store should be enough. Your family should take time and you should spend 5-8 hours/day with them but your finances maybe just needs the casual thought and a couple hours/week to look over budgets and your economy.

That way you keep the balance, focus and keep improving all the time in each area.
What do you think?

Lori: That makes sense. So it’s about thinking about each area and making a plan and then working the plan? Keeping all the balls in the air!

Daniel: I believe so.
To use your juggling analogy, maybe the balls are of different weight so they need different amounts of effort to lift and throw.

Does that make sense?

Lori: Good analogy! Some are light and stay up a lot time, some are heavy, harder to throw, and come down faster (like finances!?!) LOL I never thought of it that way!

Daniel: Neither had I.
One of the best parts of blogging is the discussions we can have.”

I thought it was a very interesting discussion and one worth thinking about.

Life is like being a juggler, you need to care for all areas (all the balls in the air) but our balls don’t way as much, some take more effort than others (the balls way more, we need to spend more time at work than we need to spend time working out).
If you forget one area/ball though it will fall and break your concentration which will make all the balls fall.

How to Handle the 4 Areas of Your Life
To find a way to get the correct balance I suggest that you schedule some time each day to each of the 4 areas; Health, Finances, Career, Relationship.

To care for your health working out 20 minutes per day or 1 hour twice or three times a week is enough.
For your finances it is enough to 2 hours/week get an overview and make some long term calculations.
Your career will take probably at least 8 hours/day if you are like most adults and your relationships can be given the rest of the day.

By getting this balance you make sure to take care of all four areas and keep moving forward without letting any part of your life slide.

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4 Responses to The Juggles Metaphor – How to Find Life-Work Balance and Handle Your Life

  1. Hi Daniel,
    It’s difficult for me to generalize as to what needs to be balanced and the appropriate ratio of time needed to be spent on each activity. It varies from person to person and is often driven by life circumstances. There has been times in my life where exercise had to be the #1 priority with a substantial time commitment. Other times financial issues held the spotlight. I think the proper allocation of time and effort has to be constantly addressed and if necessary adjusted. The criteria is usually how well my life is working and my level of happiness is a great determinant.
    Riley

    • Hey Riley,

      I agree, it is hard to know what the balance should be, but suffice to say you need to give your attention to all 4 areas and not let any slide because of over focus on another.

  2. Ashvini says:

    Hi Daniel,
    Balance is very much required in the aspects of life. But yes work commands maximum weightage. I think was can add more time to life and family on weekends and holidays and do not worry about work on those days. However for the rest of the time, work has to and should take maximum effort and time.

    • Like me and Lori discussed all areas don’t require equal time. Just think of exercise, 5 hours/week is more than enough. But if you worked only 5 hours/week your career and finances would fall apart.

      All areas need time, but they don’t need more time than they need.

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