How to Be Busy But in Balance

My experience is that we can find ways to maximize work, so we can balance it with the priorities of life. From the outside, it looks like I work all the time (and people often ask me how I get so much done). I don’t work all the time— and I have a great team that makes it possible to get a lot done. For some, they need to work harder. They need to work smarter. They need to make work, well, work. For others, they need to rest more. They need to find more time for family, friends, and more.

 

You know that famous saying, “Time flies when you’re having fun?” Well, in my experience, that’s just not the case. Time flies regardless of whether I am enjoying myself or not. Finding a way to accomplish every line item on my to-do list and trying to keep my calendar in order day in and day out can be quite a challenge. Perhaps that’s true for you as well.

Like most people, I am always working to accomplish one thing: balance. Don’t get me wrong, work is central to a Christ-follower’s calling. Even in the garden, God intended Adam and Eve to work—not just sit back lazily and watch the flowers grow. There is something in us that loves productivity and longs to create things with our hands and conceive of things with our minds.

None of this is wrong. In fact, it’s very good for Christians to want to engage in their places of work and broader communities!

Unfortunately, in most cases, too much of a good thing is no longer a good thing. There are times when my work encroaches upon my time with my family. I must seek to keep all spheres in balance—my personal devotion time, my work time, and my family and friend time.

How am I—how are we—stewarding our time? God has given us 24 hours each day and calls us to find ways to use that time effectively and to his ultimate glory.

Although I don’t have it perfected, I’ve thought this through a bit. I’m not an example, here, since I’m not doing well in every area (like excercise), but I’ve also found some ways to maximize work to keep a balance with family.

So, here are some tips I have found helpful as I seek to steward my time well.

First, always do your best to be effective with the time you do have to get things done.

Free time on the road? Make some phone calls. Find yourself sitting at the gate waiting for takeoff? Time to crank out some work. I always bring two devices on the plane—my iPad for during takeoff and landing and my laptop for once we’ve reached 10,000 feet. Being efficient with our time during commutes and elsewhere is key to ensuring that time spent at home with loved ones isn’t consumed by leftover work that wasn’t completed between the 9-5 hours.

Additionally, when spending time completing tasks at work, make sure they’re truly purposeful. Don’t waste time holding meetings when the issue at hand could have been settled through a simple email. This doesn’t mean human interaction and times of collaboration aren’t important—we just need to be wise in when and where this happens.

Second, be willing to say “no.”

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