Do you ever feel like your life is totally out of control?
If you are anything like me, there are times in life where you are simply reacting. You feel like your life is rapidly unfolding before your eyes and there is not much you can do about it. Forget about strategically planning out your day; all you are trying to do is survive. Does that sound familiar?
So that brings us to the million dollar question:
“So how do you balance it all?”
Back to the basics – laying a solid foundation!
Over the past years of doing ministry in creative access countries, I have found that the real key to a balanced life is abiding in Jesus.
If we can spend time quality time with Jesus each and every day, we begin to hear his voice and listen to his heart.
Without knowing what HE wants us to do each day, we end up chasing our man-made strategies and plans.
Start taking time each and every day (lavish time) to just listen and learn from Jesus.
Plan in your non-negotiables
A young parent asked me the other day how I made time for my family in the midst of my business schedule. I said, “I know I need to get better at this, but I schedule it into my week. Each week my wife and I have a date night! I try to plan in my “play time” with my kids.”
I have realized that we spend time doing what is important to us. If we really love our family, we need to choose to spend quality time with them. Now, I am not talking about taking time out of your normal work week, but instead planning in time afterwork or in the evenings to be with the family.
I know one guy who when people asked if he was free any time between 5 pm – 7pm, he answered that he was doing discipleship and was unavailable. He was spending that time training his kids in the ways they should go.
If you want to learn language, you will need to plan in your language learning times.
If you think that they will just happen, I guarantee that something else will pop up and take their place.
Adjust your schedule
As I mentioned above, spending time with family is very important, however, we also must be careful not to miss out on key visiting times with locals. For example, in our country, most people visit between 4:30 PM and 7:30PM. If I was to choose my family time during those hours, I would miss out on opportunities to visit and share Jesus with my neighbors.
The answer is to adjust your family time schedule so that you can do both. Because there is a 2 hour slot from 2:00PM until 4:00 PM where everyone is resting, this becomes a perfect time to spend with my family. Then at 4:30, my wife gathers up the kids and heads off to visit with her friends.
Choose the important things
The final thing that has helped me in working towards a balanced life is setting goals & priorities. Every so often, I sit down and plan out my goals for the next few months.
I try to seek the Lord for what He wants me to do and I write those things down.
Once I have chosen the most important goals, I begin to break those goals down into bite size tasks. I schedule each task on my calendar and start with those tasks each day. I try not to open email until I have completed my most important tasks for the day.
2 Great Slogans
Oh yeah, there are 2 slogans that I try to use in my life:
“Just say NO” and “Just DO it”
I try to say no to the non-important things BUT commit do just doing the most important things that God has given me to do.