A practical approach to a more joyful life

How to Create Balance

How to Create Balance

Creating a balanced life is about being confident that your actions and choices match your deepest personal values.

As a parent, a professional, and simply a person you want balance because you care so dang much about every part of your life.

You Want To:
  • Do good work, do good in the world, and be a good parent.
  • Feel connected to family, friends, and work – instead of always feeling like you are missing out.
  • Be productive and accomplished – instead of feeling like you never get anything done.
  • Be present and attentive with your children – instead of feeling fragmented and frustrated.

Creating this balanced life is not an outcome. It’s a process.

This process is all about maximizing your time and energy on the things that matter most to you, and minimizing the time and energy you spend on the rest.

This process is The Create Balance Method. It puts you and your values in the driver’s seat of your life not matter what your parenting or professional situation.

And the driver’s seat is exactly where you belong.

The Create Balance Method has 6 stages that guide you through the process of creating a balanced life. Here is how they work:

Stage 1: Essential Values

Think of your time and energy like money: you want to get the most or the best for your money, right? Creating balance means thinking of your time and energy as resources that you want to use just as wisely.

This method starts with the Essential Values stage. Here you make a list of all of your values that you hold dear at this moment of your life. These values may be abstract ideas (such as “compassion,” “effectiveness,” “health”) or ways that you want to spend your time (such as doing crafts with your child, working closely with a student or client who needs you, learning new skills, relaxing with a partner, etc.)

Here are some questions to get you started with your list of values:

  • What are your hopes, for the moment and for the future?
  • What are your plans for the future?
  • What are your dreams for yourself? For your children? For your relationships?
  • What do you value? List as many as you can think of (especially values that weren’t represented in the other lists!)

Once you have a list of values, you must decide on which values are truly essential at this point in your life. The ones you can’t live without. The ones that get you up in the morning. The ones that give you energy instead of draining it.

Pick 1-3. Circle them. These are the essential values that will guide your use of time and energy for a while.

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Stage 2: Maximize time and energy on the things that matter most

In stage two you make a plan to maximize the time and energy you spend on those essential values.

There are two key strategies you can use to do this:

Maximize TIME with the “Sacred Time” strategy

Maximize ENERGY with the “Shifting Attention” strategy

No matter which of these strategies you choose, make a plan for it now. Put your sacred time date on your calendar. Or, write a reminder on a post-it to help you shift your attention to your essential values.

Having a plan is key to making sure our actions and choices match our values, even when life gets busy.

​The Create Balance Monthly Planner

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Stage 3: Minimizing your time and energy on the rest

In stage three you use time-saving and energy-saving strategies to minimize the time and energy you spend on values or activities that are not currently essential to you.

Take a moment and look at your Essential Values. What are a few chores, obligations, or other activities that are taking your time and energy away from those essential values? List them now!

Look at the list. How can you spend less time and energy on these?

Here are two key strategies to help you do this:

Minimize TIME and ENERGY with the “Batching” strategy

Minimize TIME and ENERGY with “Just Say No” strategies

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Stage 4: Take Action: How to get things done when there is too much to do.

Stage 4 is all about getting organized so that you can spend more time doing the things that matter and less time trying to remember all the stuff you need to do.

Getting organized always start with getting all your plans, thoughts, ideas, tasks and reminders out of your head and onto paper.

From there you sort out projects, action steps, and events.

Ultimately, you use your essential values to set priorities for your to-do list instead of always reacting to what is most urgent. But it starts with those first steps of getting it all out of your head and sorting it out.

These steps are all part of The Organized Parent, my 4-part system for getting organized and getting things done when there is too much to do. It’s designed for parents for who don’t always control their own work and life schedule.

The Organized Parent
  • Get it Out of your Head
  • Name It
  • Sort It
  • Do It

Here are some more resources for getting organized and taking action:

Free up brain space with the brain dump and inbox

4 productivity tips to get you to accomplish something, not just constanty put out fires

You can also join me every few months when I do a free webinar that guides you through setting up your projects and action steps in this system. Click her to register.

​The Create Balance Monthly Planner

Set up your month. Set up your week. Live your values every day.

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Stage 5: Get Focused: focusing on the here and now, even when life gets hectic.

Here is the most common mistake people make about work-life-family balance:

They believe “balance” is all about time management.

The truth is that creating balance is more about training your attention.

Getting Focused is all about putting your attention on what matters most, even when there is a mountain of demands on your time and attention. It starts with listing all the possible demand,s goals, intentions and relationships you want to give attention to. Then its time for choosing. By making intentional choices about where to put your attention, you line up your attention with your values.

And when you learn to direct your attention and energy to what matters most, you are creating balance with far more than your time.

Here are some more resources for getting focus:

Focus your TIME and ENERGY with the “Just One Thing” strategy

Forget Time Management. Manage Attention Instead

​The Create Balance Monthly Planner

Set up your month. Set up your week. Live your values every day.

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Stage 6: Reflection

Just like “Essential Values,” Reflection is a crucial part of the Create Balance Method. Without reflection, it’s easy for this method to become an exercise in time management.

But the truth is that creating a balanced life on your own terms means being flexible and open to

  • Shifts in values
  • Shifts in time and energy
  • Shifts in life circumstances

As parents and people who want to do good in the world and at home, we know that we need flexibility. This reflection stage is where we can be thoughtful and intentional in our flexibility.

There are three steps in the reflecting stage:

  • Gather your thoughts and observations.
    • Notice how your time is being spent
    • Notice where you attention is going
    • Reflect on the past week or month and think about what was working and what wasn’t.
  • Wonder and get curious about your emotions, your reactions, and your reflections on the past.
    • What achievements am I proud of?
    • When did I spend time in a way that lined up with my essential values?
    • Where did I minimize time on something that is not essential? How did I do that?
    • What surprises me?
    • What are some patterns I see?
    • If my best friend shared this list with me, what would I congratulate her/him on?
  • Reflect and Plan. Gathering, wondering, and reflection rewards us with knowledge and self-awareness. The trick is to turn that knowledge and self-awareness into a plan.
    • Take what you are now aware of from this reflection process. Return to stage 1. How have your Essential Values shifted over time? How will you use your TIME and ENERGY to make those values part of your daily life?

From there we start the Create Balance Method again. Because creating a balanced life that matches your personal values is an ongoing process. And the Create Balance Method is here to help.

​The Create Balance Monthly Planner

Set up your month. Set up your week. Live your values every day.

You're life is busy enough, so I won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time! Powered by ConvertKit

Create balance between your personal, professional, and parenting lives on your terms with the Create Balance Monthly Planner

The Create Balance Method: a system for parents who want to do good in the world and at home.

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