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How To Keep Your Balls In The Air, No Not Those Balls

Elsa-Rene Henderer - Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Do you ever feel like you have so many balls in the air it's impossible to keep them all there? Sometimes you're going to drop a ball but you'll pick it up and throw it back in the air. And then another one will drop and you'll do the same. It's the viscous cycle of what i call "spreading myself thin". 

There is no cure for 'spreading yourself thin" unless you get rid of some of your balls. I don't want to get rid of some of my balls. I like all my balls, in fact i love them, no not those balls. In no particular order my balls consist of:

  • My Children
  • My Husband
  • Running My Business
  • Family & Friends
  • Fitness/Health 
  • Helping Others

As a working mum i accept that these are MY CHOICES so i'm not complaining. I choose to be a working mum because i was fortunate to find a career that i am passionate about so this is merely a shout out to like minded woman who share the same internal struggles that come with making this choice.

I stumbled upon this post by Kelly Exeter @ Flying Solo (www.flyingsolo.com.au) on Facebook the other day and it honestly felt like she was reading my mind. At first it was creepy but then i felt comforted by the realisation that woman everywhere were having the same conversations with themselves as i was. So here it is, thank you Kelly.   (https://www.facebook.com/FlyingSoloAU/photos/a.149385061756729.25835.116011411760761/1062507147111178/?type=1&theater)

When you're a business owner, it's highly likely your business is not the only priority in your life.

You probably have a partner and/or a family you'd like to spend quality time with. You'd probably like to be looking after your health. It's likely you have friends that would like to see you. And you probably need some time for yourself as well. To 'be' rather than 'do'.

So how do we manage all these competing priorities? How do we stop that nagging feeling that we're not doing ANYTHING well because we're trying to do EVERYTHING well and we're failing?

The best solution for this that I've seen is the 'Traffic Light System'. (And if someone knows whose idea it was originally, let me know so I can credit them!)

What the Traffic Light System involves is that you make a list of all your priorities. So for me these would be:

-- Work
-- Partner
-- Kids
-- Family
-- Friends
-- Mental health
-- Physical health/fitness
-- {I'm sure there are more but you get the gist!}

At the end of each day, you apply one of the traffic light colours to all of the above items:
-- GREEN = Yeah, high five, I looked after this aspect of my life pretty well today
-- AMBER = I did ok - wasn't perfect, but it was pretty good!
-- RED = Mmmm, not a great day today, will try again tomorrow!

What the above does is it forces you to focus on the bigger picture rather than the small negative things that can happen in any day, but that tend to make us feel like we're failing at life.

For example - I might yell at my child and then feel really bad because I wasn't able to control my temper. But if I look at the day as a whole, I can see that actually, we had a really great day. So I don't bogged down obsessing about that one, tiny incident.

I might get a negative comment on an article I've written, or something I've posted on Facebook - but when I look at the day on a whole I will see all the positive comments and shares on that post completely swamp the one bad thing.

So if most elements of my life are sitting in green and amber for the most part - I'm winning.

If something dips into the red for a day, but JUST for a day, I'm winning.

If something is permanently in the amber (or god forbid, red) then that's an area of my life that needs my attention. And once it receives that attention, back it goes into the green and amber again.

Happy Days!

{Kelly}


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