5 Secrets to Life’s Great Balancing Act

5 Secrets to Life’s Great Balancing Act

“So be sure when you step, Step with care and great tact. And remember that life's A Great Balancing Act. And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed)” ― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You'll Go!


These 5 habits and mindset shifts will make you more effective AND a nicer person to be around. There’s just one catch: you have to actually do them for them to work….


1. Own Your Time. 

Put yourself on your own list of priorities. Ideally at the top, but at the very least somewhere on the list!  If you wait for there to be time ‘left’ for you after everything else is done, there never will be. Because everything will never be done

So schedule Your Time in. Actually put it in your calendar - and let your secretary know! 

For example: 

7-8am - Exercise.  Make it something you ENJOY.  If going to the gym doesn’t light you up, then don’t do it! Do what you love.

8:30am – 6:30pm - Work   

7-9pm - Family time.

9-10:30 pm - Relax and unwind.  (If you struggle to wind down without a tub of Ben&Jerry’s or a few glasses of pinot, it’s time to learn some new strategies for de-stressing…)

Of course there are going to be exceptions and late-night calls you can’t avoid. But: Nothing ends up in your calendar without your approval - unless you are in a prison camp. 

You have time for whatever you make time for. Period. Now read that again. 


2. Learn to Self-parent

If you have kids you know that hungry and tired kids are 500% more prone to crashing and melt-downs – not to mention impossible to reason with. 

But guess what, so are we! Being ‘hangry’ is a real thing. Goodness knows how we expect to perform optimally when we neglect our basic needs. If we don’t prioritise sleep and rest, if we skip meals and live on coffee and sugary snacks, we eventually fall apart. Mentally, physically and emotionally. It’s a recipe for a shitshow (technical term).

Today, since we don’t have mums or dads telling us to go to sleep, eat our greens or go outside to kick the ball when we’re in a mood, we need to do it ourselves  We need to self-parent and take care of our basic needs. Every. Single. Day.


3. Emergency Room Triage

When we’re in the popular but utterly ineffective crazy busy mode we tend to treat everything as a matter of life and death.  We feel overwhelmed with the hundred and twenty six items on our to-do list, and expect ourselves to do it all TODAY. 

In reality not all of those nitty gritty things are as important. Some are loud and noisy, but not urgent. 

To remedy, Triage tasks into categories: 

  1. RED - Life threatening, urgent things that need immediate attention. 
  2. YELLOW - Serious but non-urgent.
  3. GREEN - Matters that are minor, less important. Perhaps ones that someone else can deal with. 
  4. BLACK – the ones you can’t save or do anything about. The ones you need to drop in order to take care of the important stuff.

Focus on one task at a time, starting from the Reds.

  • Did you know, when we multitask we are 45% less efficient?!

If you try to do everything you will accomplish nothing. 


4. At the end of the work day make a list for the next day, and then forget about it

The skill of compartmentalising will revolutionise your life! It helps you leave work stress at work and stop brining it home. 

Another practice that supports this is mindfulness: it’s where you mind and body are at the same place at the same time. 

Meaning, you can actually be present when you spend time with the people you love. Rather than be there in physically, but with your mind wondering elsewhere, thinking about the tricky client you are meeting tomorrow. 


5. Stop the Shoulds

Stop over-scheduling yourself and your family. If there are things on your personal calendar that don’t light you up, or that you absolutely don’t have to do, strike it off. I mean it. 

If going to the gym doesn’t excite you; if you do it just because you think you should… for the love of god, stop!! There are many ways to exercise and be physically active.  Goofing around with the kids in the pool, or kicking the ball or playing rough and tumble with them counts.  Dancing counts. Sex counts. Picking up trash on the beach counts. Do what you enjoy.

Same with social stuff:  only spend time with people whose company you enjoy. Decline invitations you don’t care about, to make time for that which matters to you. Your time and energy are your most valuable commodities. Be mindful how and where you spend them. Engage in activities that fill your cup. 

When you’ve had a busy travel schedule, doing a multi-stop holiday trip probably isn’t what you need the most. Consider balance when planning holidays. What kind of holiday will leave yourself and the family feeling recharged and nourished? 


6. Family Affair

If you’re constantly feeling maxed out and snowed under, chances are that so are your spouse and kids.  Have a family meeting and decide together what activities and commitments you want to keep doing, and what you want to drop to add more space into your life. 

Often we feel like we don’t have a choice but to say yes to things we don’t really want to do. But in reality of course we do. We just need to exercise it! Saying No might feel uncomfortable at first, but with practice it gets easier and easier. 

Kids don’t need an organised activity every single day of the week. They won’t end up any worse off if they don’t play 2 instruments and do tennis and swimming and tae-kwon-do at a competitive level….

It’s ok – no, it’s necessary- to have days with nothing major planned. Days when you take it easy and have idle time. We need that to be happy, and healthy! 

Warren Buffet says ‘the difference between successful and really successful people is that really successful people say No to nearly everything’.


LIISA HALME Clinical Hypnosis and Strategic Psychotherapist Central and Stanley Wellness hong kong

Liisa Halme, Hypnotherapist & Strategic Psychotherapist

Need a hand with escaping stress and pressure and enjoying your life again? Unlock the potential within you to live life in your own terms with Liisa Halme’s EXECUTIVE FREEDOM PROGRAM

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