Welcome to the month of June. Halfway through May in the middle of a pandemic I thought – this year is going horribly slow because of the Corona Virus lockdown. Suddenly though, it’s summer. New Years feels like yesterday and somehow schools are getting out and the temperatures are rising as we approach the middle of the year. Can you relate?
This June here on the Crossroads blog we’re going to talk about balance. Balance is a hot button word in the career field as people have tried again and again to find work/life balance. The truth is, there is no perfect balance. Jobs, families, hobbies, and demands are different for everyone and most are demanding in waves or seasons. So there’s no one right way but let’s work on defining balance as a whole and then you can work on customizing it for yourself.
- Start with God. I’m the middle of three daughters born to a football coach. I was in elementary school when my Dad made the jump from college to the NFL and things just got crazier. As an adult while working with the NFL myself, I remember asking my Dad: how do you have time for a quiet time? His answer changed the course of my life. He said: I know that I can’t make it through a single day without God. When you realize that you’ll make it the first and most important part of your day. And I have.
Quiet times look different for different people and that’s ok. I strongly encourage you though – have one. Daily. Mornings really are best for this because it’s most likely to get done AND it starts your day off focused on Christ. That’s not something I’ve ever regretted.
- Time Is Made Not Had. We’ve all heard people say they don’t have time. That’s not true. We all have the same amount of days in our weeks and hours in our days. 168 hours per week. What we do with them is vastly different and while some use them wisely and maximize their results, others quite simply do not. The sooner you own that time is made not had the better. There’s an ownership in that mentality and with it comes the power to determine what will get those precious hours and what falls ‘below the line’.
- Not All Good Things Are Your Things. I consider my time precious. How I spent it ultimately makes up my life. So when people ask me to be part of something, join an organization, attend an event, etc I have a rule. Before I commit to anything I consider whether it’s a good thing or it’s ‘my thing’. If I don’t take it on it’s not because I don’t think it’s a great opportunity or event, it simply means that I don’t think it’s my best use of time. This is important to determine. I simply cannot say yes to everything so choosing the best yes for me also requires saying no. Along those lines I strongly encourage avoiding excuses – simply say no. It doesn’t leave room for persuasive counter arguments.
- Create Space. I love to accomplish. I enjoy every check mark I get to make on a long to do list and I use these for the weekends just as thoroughly as during the work week. However, I believe there is great value in creating space. Space for time spent at home. Space for following the occasional whim. Space for reading and relaxing. Space for taking good care of yourself spiritually, physically, and emotionally. Leave margin. To help myself do this I write ‘block time’ on my calendar on the nights I want to spend at home so I don’t look, see I’m free, and agree to plans. It keeps me from overcommitting to others because I’ve committed to myself that there is space.
This month I challenge you to really take a hard look at how you’re spending your time and therefore your life. If someone studied an excel sheet of your week in hour increments could they guess your priorities? Would you be proud of them? As my faith has grown during adulthood I’ve been reminded several times that if I claim my relationship with Christ as the most important thing in my life, Sunday can’t be the only day I put time and effort into it. The same can be said for our relationships, families, and passions. I am thankful Corona gave me more time at home and with my loved ones to revisit balance and I hope you’ll do the same.
Becca Christensen is a Crossroads Career Board Member and the editor of this blog for 2020. She works in the healthcare construction industry in Tampa, FL. She’s an avid reader, an enthusiastic football fan, and competitive at any and all board games.