We envision a balanced life like a balance scale with everything in a perfect state of equilibrium.
I see it more like the swinging of a pendulum. Balance is about slowing down and gaining control over the bob on our pendulum being pulled by whatever aspect of our lives has the squeakiest wheel of the moment.
Whenever we ignore one aspect of our lives for too long it gets really loud. Our health may decline, our mind may start running away making it difficult for us to stay focused, problems may start cropping up at work, finances may flip upside down, kid’s may start acting up, partners may grow distant or unhappy. Our pendulum swings wildly from thing to thing as if the earth’s gravitational pull was knocked off center.
It’s going to swing, the key is where, how far, when and for how long. It’s not about stopping the swing, it’s being able to consciously decide how.
For me starting my morning early and making sure I meditate, write, exercise and read at least one interesting thing before engaging with the rest of the world helps me to be intelligent and conscious about the pendulum.
The Internet is littered with articles on time management and prioritizing but you’ve got to find your ability to take control over the pulls in your life before you even know what time to manage. Priorities are going to shift, different aspects will need you more at some times than others. Find some time in your day to sit with yourself so you can hear yourself over the noise of the others demanding your attention.