Hiddey-Ho there Scribblers ~ J Monkeys coming atcha from sultry northern Connecticut. Fellow Scribe, Jennifer Fusco posted on Facebook that she’s going to be tackling the subject of Work-Life Balance in some kind of public forum coming up and that got me to thinking…and trying out a balancing method that’s worked well for me in the past.
Well, it worked on vacation…sure that’s a potential stumbling block, but I put it into practice today to see what might come of it, to surprising results.
Have you ever seen this movie? It’s a Hugh Grant flick from a few years back. Now I’m a huge Hugh fan…I have him singing from Music and Lyrics on my iPod and I thought the Pirate Captain from the recent kids movie Pirates had his speech cadence even though it sounded nothing like him. Turned out I was right. I’m that kind of dedicated fan. Mr. Grant, you are welcome.
Now this isn’t one of my favorites of his films, (that would probably be Music & Lyrics or Love Actually) but there is an interesting bit where he breaks the day down into 30 minute units. Hugh’s character is a middle-aged rich kid living off the fortune left him by his one-hit-wonder father. He’s idle and bored – hence the need to fill his time in manageable pieces.
So Hugh lives 30 minutes at a time. Sometimes he’d spend two units on something, like racquetball or something. I tried this on a WICKED restful vacation a number of years ago (pre-kid.) I spent 5 days at a dude ranch in Arizona. We woke up and spent a unit at breakfast when Cookie rang the triangle, then went for a 3-unit trail ride, took a unit long nap, ate lunch for another unit or two, napped another unit away, rode for a couple more units, frolicked in the pool for a unit, ate again – supper was at least two units, then played games until it was time spend a unit or more staring at a night sky filled with more stars than I’ve ever seen before or since. I’ve never been so rested. It was GREAT! We lived one unit at a time.
So – today, I spent my free time (read that as kid-free time when I can actually accomplish something) by units. I set the oven timer for 2 units (an hour for the math challenged) and did random housework. When the timer buzzed, I set it again for another 2 units. I spent these units working on a project for which I actually get paid (exciting thing!). Upon buzzing, I put that project away and spent a unit inputting edits to my DIY Publishing book, then a unit folding four loads of laundry. Finally, I spent a unit on lunch with a side order of The West Wing (the Supremes from Season 5, one of my favorites) and headed out to the kids’ school for a few hours of volunteer time.
Now, I didn’t accomplish much of any one thing, but I did touch on many of the things I need to work on – housework, stuff I get paid to do, writing and not unimportantly, some me time. That is what I call work-life balance, people. Sure I have an overwhelming amount of stuff still on my plate, but hey – it was a good day!
Today’s secret: Sometimes, wisdom comes in strange places…or when you’ve got 30 different things to do – breaking your time up into focused chunks can help you keep those plates spinning.
Today’s question: How do you balance all of your responsibilities?