Time balance can be an elusive concept. It’s vital to our well-being, but what is it, really? And how do we achieve it?
The obvious answer is that time balance involves equal parts of different activities like work and play or home-focus and career-focus. But let’s delve a little bit deeper …
Two Time Balance Images:
- Remember when you played Statue as a kid? It was an exhilarating challenge to run around and then to freeze, holding your balance, when the whistle blew. Anyone who moved was “out”.
- And have you ever seen the old-fashioned balance scales? The purchase of fruits, vegetables or meat on one side was counterbalanced with lead weights on the other side. When it balanced, both sides became level with one another, and the scale stopped moving.
Notice that both of these examples require stillness, stasis, no movement. Many equate work/life balance with an even split (50/50) of activities for work and those for home.
Time Balance is seldom that simple.
And the thing is that what’s difficult to grasp is going to be doubly difficult to add to your life. So, to get more specific (because time balance is absolutely unique and personal to you), let’s try a short exercise:
Time Balance Exercise:
- Ask yourself what the word balance means to you. Just breathe in and out and let the ideas and images flow.
- Now jot down the first five to ten words you think of when you think of balance. Don’t judge or censor what comes, just write it all down.
- Next, let yourself relax and breathe deeply. Go back and recall 3 times when you have felt balanced in your life. Write these down and describe, as fully as you can, the situations or activities that helped you feel balanced.
- How do these descriptions match the words you listed? What do you discover about Time Balance?
Time Balance is all about energy.
I find it most helpful to approach time balance from the perspective of energy. We all have both feminine and masculine energy, or yin and yang, within us. Those energies affect and move within us differently.
Masculine energy is usually associated with logic, work and taking action. Feminine energy is equated with creativity, intuition, nurturance, and compassion.
From this vantage point, you can move toward time balance by first noticing when you are involved with one or the other kind of energy in your life. For example, are you thinking about work continually? Driving yourself to do more, succeed more? Or do you spend most of your time engaged in creative daydreaming, nesting, and thinking about how significant relationships are faring?
Once you see where you are, you can move toward achieving time balance by creating a bridge that joins these two energetic poles. As you combine work activities with self-expression and exploration, you are both creating and doing, dreaming and acting.
In this way, you develop time balance by integrating both masculine and feminine energy.© Copyright 2012 Paula Eder, Ph.D.