Have you ever felt like there is never enough time to do everything? That you need to give 100% in every single area of your life all the time – whether this is a pressure you put on yourself or it’s an external expectation? You tried, you gave it your best, and sooner or later that painful moment came when you realized that you are not Superman/Superwoman. You simply can’t deliver that 100% all the time in all situations, and you started beating yourself up? Does this sound familiar?
I think all of us experienced this at one point or another. The truth is that we can never give 100% in each area of life simultaneously. It’s like trying to give each area of life the no. 1 priority in the same time. And we do know that this is humanly impossible.
As it is explained so comprehensively in the Bhagavad Gita, each stage in life has different priorities, and there is always going to be an area that gets “neglected”, or suffers
Today we all struggle to find a balance between the area in which our goal/priority is, and all the other areas of life. This is not an easy task, and more times than not it seems impossible.
I want to share this with you because this expectation to show up 100% all the time in everything is an unreal one, a recipe for pain and frustration. We start beating ourselves up, mentally and emotionally – which in the long term is leading to everything but growth.
Don’t get me wrong, I find it important to give our best in every area of life, also to strive for a healthy balance, but to do it in a smart, realistic and loving way. A way that supports our growth in the long run.
The Bhagavad Gita says that all of us need 3 main things in life – Health, Wealth (Financial stability), and Time.
- When we are children we have health and time, but we lack wealth.
- When we are mid aged we have health, and wealth (we are working to build the financial stability) but we lack time (we are so busy working that there is little to no time for anything else)
- When we get closer to the end of life, we may have enough wealth, we have plenty of time but we lack the complete health.
Just like Jay Shetty says about this: “You can have it all, just not all at the same time”
I really, really hope this resonates with you as much as it did with me. To me, hearing this, was a big AHA moment and a huge relieve.
Being realistic is such an important part of life. Yes, I believe in no limits, and in dreaming big… and also, I am a firm believer in being smart, conscious and honest in doing all the above.
Creating a new way of balance
We can split Life in different areas. You can imagine it like a cake and split it in 5 portions: Personal Growth, Health, Work, Family, Social – at one point or another one area will gain priority, and that will affect the rest of the areas in your life.
Think about this for a moment:
- Which area of your life has priority for you this year?
- How do you see it affecting the other areas in your life? (The other areas get less attention, patience, maybe hardly any time?)
- How much of your time does your priority take?
- How about energy?
To get a clear picture in this I invite you to a daily discovery exercise for a week, that will support you in finding out the answers to these questions.
Knowing, that from the time your day starts to the time it ends You have 100% time and 100% energy, notice:
- How is it that you split your time?
- How is that you split your energy? How much energy you put in what you are doing? (How engaged you really are while doing your tasks through the day?)
- Notice what are the things that distract you from being fully present in the activity you are doing?
Just notice and write it down in the table below. No need to change anything. Yet 🙂
I find it very helpful to have this awareness. Knowing where you are at right now, is very important as change only emerges from the consciousness of the present moment.
At the end of the week, when you look back at your notes take the time to see:
- Which are the areas/tasks in which you put your complete focus on? Your 100% or most of your energy?
- Is this the area in which your priority is?
- Which is the area or task that you can finish in a shorter time, if you put your Energy and Focus into it? (attached you can find a tapping exercise that can support you with your focus) This way you can use that freed up time in pursue your goal, or maybe in spending some quality time in an area that has been neglected until now, but is important to you.
This exercise will help you create a more realistic balance, and also in building a structure that will allow you to use your energy and time wisely, or to even gain time, that you can use in areas that are meaningful to you.
Also, my goal with this exercise is to shed some light on the fact that no matter what your goal is, or the situations experienced in life, when you give 100% of your energy, then you give and get back quality.
Giving quality is when you put your body, mind and soul into what you are doing. When we give quality, when we give our precious energy to something, that is when we are way more productive. During these times we experience life more profoundly and we also gain time. Time that we know, we have so little of.
When we give our complete focus, we are in the present moment and that is when the most amazing things in life happen. There is nothing more precious than that.
IMPORTANT QUESTION: WHAT IS IT, THAT YOU VALUE MORE?
Do you value the energy that someone is putting in when you are spending time together (be it a friend, someone you have a meeting with or a loved one) or you value the length (quantity) of time that they spend with you?
Please think this through, because we so often say “I want to spend more time with you” … but is it the time that we really want, or the other person`s energy, attention?
Often times we spend 3-4 hours with someone, and they are engaged half of the time in doing something else (or we may be busy doing something else) and after saying our good byes we leave with a sense of emptiness or even disappointment.
Those times seem to stay with us much longer when we may be spending less time with someone, but that person is fully engaged with us, completely present, and at the end of our time together we both feel like we gifted each other with quality time.
Lesson from my own story
How did I start valuing quality in my own life and which was the wake-up moment when I came to realize that it is time to change?
I am living in a long – distance relationship, since 4 years now and this experience is constantly teaching me so many wonderful things that I am very thankful for. To me this is a true road into self-discovery and growth.
We see each other with my partner more or less every 6 weeks, so the time we have together physically, quickly became a very treasured one. A time that I want to experience as fully as I can and enjoy every second of it. It was during these days we have together that I really discovered what it means to be fully present, giving 100% of my energy, attention to someone and being in the moment. No phone distractions, no emails or social media, just the present moment and what it has to offer.
This was a completely different experience, that helped me realize how important it is to be present in every other area of life, in every activity we are doing day to day. There is nothing more beautiful and actually efficient, than to be with our complete being in the present moment.
This is when Quantity really transforms into Quality, when we are giving our Focused 100% Energy, rather than only our time, in which our mind is scattered into many pieces thinking “what I have to do after this”, “how my last meeting went”, “all the emails waiting for me” etc.
Even though I started understanding more and more the huge difference between quantity and quality, and experienced it in my relationship, for a long time I didn’t implement it in other areas of my life. The words of a Chinese astrologist acquaintance elated me and I still hear them so often in my ears. She brought my attention to the fact that it would be very important, if for the good of my personal development I learned how to do just one thing at a time, and to do that thing body and soul. Of course, I nodded smartly, I heard her, but her words didn’t get to me completely until she gave me such a clear example from my daily behavior, something I was also doing then and there, that I couldn’t not hear her anymore… you know, that kind of example that is painfully true and you can’t leave it unnoticed. 🙂
It’s essence sounded something like this: It’s not what I do that is the most important, what’s important is to do it with attention and presence.
I often spent a lot of time doing one thing, while my mind was simultaneously in 3 other places and besides that I was beating myself up because I left things undone till the last moment, thinking of all the other to-do’s on the list that were still waiting for my attention etc.
Meanwhile I was neither present in what I was doing, neither doing what I felt I was supposed to be doing or what made me feel good. I was not enjoying myself and I was everything but productive.
If this is familiar to you too, I trust that you start noticing yourself as well. This practice can support you to build a new system in your life and discover the quality time miracle in your every day’s, even in a short time, like one week.
Tips to better manage your energy, and re-fill your tank:
- Write down your plans the night before
- Prepare what you can before-hand so you don’t find any excuses the next day for not being able to focus. (ex. I need to do the dishes first)
- Between tasks, give yourself one minute (yes, one minute is enough) to be still, in complete silence and just breath in and out slowly.
- If you have the possibility, nurture your body with a healthy meal.
Learning to focus – Tapping practice
Practice time, on average:
In which cases, how often and to whom I recommend this practice:
If you have many tasks, or you are caught in a variety of actions simultaneously and somehow you never seem to get to the end of them, this practice will help you build your focus. It is helpful to learn how to truly focus, because if you get in the habit of dealing with one task at a time, you will finish your task in a shorter period of time, also your effectiveness and satisfaction will increase.