Archive - Balanced Life

Prioritization: Don’t Forsake the Small

We have to make tough decisions as stewards of our time.

We always want to do more than we could possibly fit into a 24 hour period, which means that we’ve got to carefully allocate our time. We must prioritize.

This needs to be done in relation to our goals so that we are spending our time in the most effective manner possible. We may have to revamp some of our goals. We may need to abandon or postpone some.

But we have to be very careful with this.

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Repost: You Will Always Be Busy

Here’s another repost while I’m on vacation. I’ll be back in a few days, revved up and ready to write some new stuff.

I hope you find this republished post helpful, because it was a major mindset shift for me.

You Will Always Be Busy

When I was in college, mid-terms and finals were frantic, busy, brain-melting times. I looked forward to those breaks in between when things would get back into a nice, relaxed state of normal.

After graduation, it was a busy wedding. Then busy working. Then busy starting a business. Then busy with a baby. It seemed that there was always something going on – some temporary period of busyness. And it always seemed like I was just a little bit away from things calming down.

It took me some time to realize it – but when I got out of school and into the real world, being busy became the new normal. These hectic periods were not temporary hiccups in my otherwise normal life – this busyness is how life is.

You will always be busy.

Continue reading right here.

Repost: Why You Secretly Love Being Busy

This week, I’m going on vacation with my family. I thought I’d take this opportunity to republish (drag up from the miry depths) some old posts that I like and thought were worthwhile. Feel free to leave comments on the original posts. I hope you enjoy these, and I’ll be back with brand, spanking new posts next week.

Today’s golden oldie is Why You Secretly Love Being Way, Way, Way Too Busy.

Think for a minute about this question: Would you say that you’re a busy person?

Let me guess: you only needed to think for half a second – and the answer is a definitive yes. I know that because everyone answers yes.
Seriously. Everyone.

Why is that the case?

The reasons are many, but I want to address a hidden and particularly nasty reason.
In a nutshell, I believe we like to be overly busy. We enjoy having way too much to do.

Read the rest right here!

Don’t Miss the Hidden Blessing of Busyness

Refiner's Fire
We don’t like pain, and we dread it coming into our lives.

But God uses our pain and trials for our own good. He uses affliction and suffering to mold us into the image of Christ, refining us in the fire and burning away impurities.

Isaiah 48:10
Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver;
I have tried you in the furnace of affliction.

No one ever asks for tragedy or pain, but we often look back and are thankful for the ways that God uses those situations to shape us. The patience, perspective, and inner strength we receive are blessings that come from the Father through even our worst times.

But this molding doesn’t have to be restricted to health problems, financial issues, or family emergencies. The refiner uses many different kinds of fire and many different levels of heat.

We serve a God who can use our greatest tragedies as tools in his hands. He can use minor discomforts. He can even use painful situations that arise as a result of our sins.

Perhaps there’s a hidden blessing in our busyness. Perhaps God can use our hectic schedules and high stress levels as a way of refining us.
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Time with Family: We Are in a War

Is it important to spend time with your family, particularly your children?

Ask almost anyone the question and you’ll get a resounding yes. But our day-to-day living often reveals a different set of priorities. It’s not that a conscious decision has been made to ignore our families – instead, it’s a slow drift.

Part of it is a failure to realize the impact that family-time has.

But part of the problem is also a failure to realize the need for our involvement.

We forget we’re in a war.
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Balance: Having a Family Makes You Less Productive?

Finding balance in my family life used to be a source of guilt and frustration for me.

I felt like devoting the necessary time to my family was leading to ineffectiveness in my ministry. At home, my wife felt like she and the kids weren’t getting enough time. I felt like a failure and was even subtly resentful.

But one passage of scripture opened my eyes. It totally changed the way I viewed my family in relationship to productivity.
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Balancing Family and Productivity

As we strive to be more productive and to be better stewards of our time, we often encounter an internal conflict. On the one hand, we want to continually maximize our usage of every second – but on the other hand, we want to honor our families and enjoy our relationships.

It seems that keeping family in the right perspective is a nearly universal problem among those interested in time management. The reason that many people want to learn the principles of time management in the first place is to bring balance and peace to the struggle between family and our productivity.

Relationships are often the first casualties of a hectic life. Guilt and frustration can pop up as a result of not spending time with our family like we feel we should.

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You Will Always Be Busy

When I was in college, mid-terms and finals were frantic, busy, brain-melting times. I looked forward to those breaks in between when things would get back into a nice, relaxed state of normal.

After graduation, it was a busy wedding. Then busy working. Then busy starting a business. Then busy with a baby. It seemed that there was always something going on – some temporary period of busyness. And it always seemed like I was just a little bit away from things calming down.

It took me some time to realize it – but when I got out of school and into the real world, being busy became the new normal. These hectic periods were not temporary hiccups in my otherwise normal life – this busyness is how life is.
Continue Reading…

How to Fail at Spending Quality Time with Your Kids

You’re busy. I know you’re busy.

You’ve got so much on your plate that you simply don’t have time to sit around a lot and hang out with your kids. So you try to be effective with the time that you do have. Rather than sitting on the couch watching TV, you spend those precious few minutes playing catch with your son or having a tea party with your daughter.

And you can pat yourself on the back for being a good parent. Right?
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The Arrogance of Time Management

In Ready for Anything, David Allen (author of Getting Things Done) has the following to say:

And get yourself organized enough so that when a staff meeting is late to start, you’re processing your in-basket or cranking down your FYI-to-read stack. Or when you’re waiting for your spouse to get ready (like, actually ready), you’re checking to see if there’s a phone call you could make.

I pictured myself sitting on the couch and tapping my toe – waiting on my wife who is several minutes late in getting ready. As an inherently impatient person, that scene has been a reality more times than I’d care to think about.

I had told myself to just relax. Sit on the couch and chill out. It’s just a few minutes – not a big deal.
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