I think what it comes down to is BALANCE. Balance is such a lovely concept, but such a hard thing to really find, don't you think? Balance requires TIME for prioritizing and re-prioritizing and self-assessment. It requires setting and sticking to boundaries. And just when you think you've got things balanced quite decently, some new thing gets dropped in your lap and you're off-kilter again.
I thought if I devoted all my discretionary time to running The Power of Moms and The Joy School Company and spread out the Retreats and conference involved and devoted the hours my kids aren't in school solely to them, I could keep things pretty balanced and create lots of win-win situations. I made decisions on committments based on my situation at the time. And now my situation has changed. I have to find renters. I have to find a new house. I have to pack up 4800 square feet of stuff, research new schools for the kids, examine the pros and cons of different neighborhoods, I need to devote 9 hours most weeks to driving up to Ogden and back. Plus I was asked to help with the children's program at church and felt I should do that. I didn't plan on or ask for these new huge things that got dropped in my lap. But they're mine and while I'm delegating all I can to realtors and other people at church and everyone else who could possibly help, the buck stops with me on a few too many things these days.
So in a situation like mine, where you find yourself juggling too many balls and you've dropped all you can, what do you do?
As so often happens, I found a great article on Power of Moms that really helped me get my thoughts in order for myself and for this workshop (I think I'll have to read parts of it to the audience). It's called Unbalance - check it out HERE. It's short, beautifully written and I love that it points out how important it is to grab those now-or-never moments and constantly evaluate what's "good" and what's "best," setting aside the "good" for the "best" more often.
I'm thinking one thing that might help with my crazy juggling act is taking things week by week, day by day and hour by hour. I've started making a short list of the very best things to do each week (on Sundays) and each day (the night before). I'm only including the things that are time-sensitive to that week, the things my family needs that week, the things that really matter. Then I have a whole list of other action items that do need to be done, but not necessarily that week or that day - and when I finish my most important things, I can go to that secondary list for other things that will wisely fill my time. I feel like every hour of my life could be used for a dozen different "good" things. But figuring out that "best" way to use that hour is often a challenge. I find myself working away at things without stopping to think first about what should be my highest priority for that time. I need to go into chunk of time in my life asking the Lord, "what's most important for me to do now?" When I do this, it works. But too often I forget. I'll be better.
And here are the questions I'm using to determine whether or not certain things should stay on my to-do lists:
- Does this really matter? To me? To others? To my overall goals?
- Do I WANT to do this?
- Does this really need to be done by ME? Am I really the best person to do it?
- Would this be the BEST thing for me to devote time and effort to NOW?
- What will I NOT do so that I can do this?
- Can I do this in a simpler way? Is it worth doing well or just barely worth doing? Thoreau said: “Our lives are frittered away by detail, simplify, simplify.”