5 Steps to Keep Your Life in Balance
Tips on Avoiding Over-Commitment and Stress
by J.M. Troppello
In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul. (Psalm 94:19, NKJV)
Committing to people and things is important.
But there are times when you may be saying ‘yes’ to everything. That can lead to over-committing yourself. It can cause a stressed-out life and a decline in your overall health and well-being.
Saying no to another commitment doesn’t make you an underachiever.
No is not a bad word.
It was not always easy for me to say no to people and things. I over-committed to things and got burnt out. Consider the following four steps you can take to keep your life in balance—and feel less stressed.
1. Change Your Perspective
Get over your fear of saying no—especially if you have been feeling guilty when saying it. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule.
You can’t always decline a new assignment at work when your manager assigns you to that new team project. Sometimes you’ll have to say yes to that new commitment. However, maybe you’ll have to remove something from your life to balance things out.
Finding balance can significantly impact your life in a positive and productive way. You’ll have renewed energy. That can enable you to give your all to the commitments you already have committed to.
2. Streamline Your Goals
One important way to stand up for yourself and say no when you need to, is to focus on your goals. That process begins with knowing who you are and where you want to go.
You may need to streamline your goals for your personal and professional life. Re-evaluate where you are in both dualities. Consider if you need to make changes to meet the most immediate (1-3 months) goals. Then you can work on your short-term (3 months – 1 year) and long-term (1-5 years) goals.
You need to understand how you can plan out what tasks to complete first and which ones can wait. If your end goals are always at the forefront of your mind, you can more easily put projects on the backburner.
Then you can say no to things that will not add any value to your life. You don’t want to waste time doing projects that don’t have a purpose when you have more important things to do.
3. Create a More Efficient Schedule
You must ‘guard’ your to-do list. Sure, you can deviate from the tasks depending on the situation. However, you wrote the goal list for a reason. If you want to live a more balanced life, you need to value your time and the steps you need to take to get there.
The more efficient you can be at tracking your daily activities, responsibilities, and appointments, will enable you to say no when necessary and only add the right things to your to-do list.
Create a to-do list that is functional and visible. Consider using some of the following to-do list apps like TickTick, Google Tasks, Nozbe, and Todoist.
4. Embrace Your Limitations
This step may seem counterintuitive. However, once you embrace your limitations, that can free you up from guilt and stress. You won’t feel as guilty the next time you need to say no to adding another commitment to your busy schedule. Once your life is more balanced out, you’ll be less stressed.
For example, if you want to take on more responsibilities in the workplace, think through your strengths and weaknesses first so that you won’t end up over-committing yourself to a project that you weren’t suited for.
Know your own limitations when it comes to your family responsibilities. When you do that, you can ensure that you won’t take on more tasks that will cause you undue stress.
5. Put Your Action Plan in Place
Now, you won’t be able to say no all the time. However, there are likely more times than not, that you can say no to things. Become your own biggest fan and start looking out for yourself.
"Self-care equals success.” – Dixie L. Nichols
Of course, you need to look out for the needs of your spouse, kids, friends, and others—but if you are not paying attention to your needs as well, you won’t find that necessary balance in life.
Start Your Journey of Saying No
Focus on your goals and create a more efficient schedule that can help you stay on track with your current commitments. Own your limitations and take the necessary steps to find balance in your life.
The biggest factor in finding this well-balanced life is placing God at the center of everything. When you seek God’s direction first, He will direct you on the best course of action to take. He’ll give you the strength to say no if you need to.
Keep the three most important things part of your daily life:
Bible reading and study
Praising and Worshipping God
Praying for yourself and others
When those three things are front and center in your life, everything else will fall into place.
Article syndicated by Mustard Seed Sentinel on Medium.com.
About the Author
J.M. Troppello is an author, writer, and poet. She is the publisher of the online Christian lifestyle magazine, Mustard Seed Sentinel.
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