How Balance in Life is About Boxes

 

The science shows how multitasking isn’t really a thing. Our brains switch quickly from one task to another, yet we are never simultaneously thinking about two separate things at the exact same moment.

So it doesn’t make sense to try to live like we are able to multitask.

Leading a more balanced life isn’t about having two items on the same scale and weighing them equally. It is about only having one item on the scale and allowing it to weigh in fully.

 

I describe this with the metaphor of boxes. Think of all the important areas of your life, like work, family, personal goals, etc, each as their own box. In the ‘family box’ are all the activities that are required for a good, healthy family life.

The key is only having one box open at a time to play in fully and recognising you need to carefully put the lid on one box and store it before pulling out and opening the next.

 

This mental act of putting the box away signifies the space between, also termed the ‘third space’ by Dr Adam Fraser. It is the space between two different tasks/areas of your life, where you reset yourself. In this space between you release all that was going on with the first box, into that box and close the lid. Then ready to be fully present you can open your next box.

I have found and have coached people in using this tool which has proved extremely helpful in stressful situations.  When working on the stressful item, open the box and be fully in that box working on the task to effectively work through it, but when it is time to put it away pack it up fully so you don’t take it with you into other areas of your life.

 

Another consideration is how often each box is coming out. 

It isn’t healthy to spend most of your time in the ‘online world box’ and only short amounts in the ‘sleep box’. Nor can you spend all your time in the ‘work box’ and little in the ‘family box’.

But special projects do come along in life and one box may be out more often than the others for a while. As long as it is balanced in the long run this is healthy.  For example, you may have a large work or personal project you are pouring yourself into for a couple months. But in doing so you know you will dedicate more time to the family later such as scheduling a vacation.

 

To be mindful, present and find more simplicity in these crazy times:

Keep one box open at a time.

Mentally put away the box before opening the next.

Ensure over the medium to longer term all boxes are opened regularly.

 

 

P.S. If you want a ‘social media box’ have one but don’t take it to dinner with you and open it at the table.

9 Tips to Simplify Stuff

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Reduce rather than reorganise.

Only purchase to replace.

Go home and evaluate what you have got and where you will place it, consider how you will use it and check nothing else could do the job.

Keep clear bench tops and tables, this will help you remain in check about putting everything away and bring about a really enjoyable spacious feeling.

Do a little each day. Clean up one draw, one counter whenever you have 5 minutes spare. Don’t consider where to start, just start with what is closest.

Distance reduces the emotion. If you haven’t used it in 6 months and still cannot bear to part with it, pack it away for a few months and then revisit it.

Forget sales/bargains. Only buy what is on the shopping list. A $1 spent on a $2 item is still a $1 spent and those add up – and double in value when placed on debt.

Crowd out excess shopping with a new intentional hobby.

Consider with intention your TV time, particularly if you have multiple TVs in your home. Redirecting this time also reduces your exposure to commercials which impact our buying significantly.

Instead of trying to stop doing what you don’t want to – crowd it out with more of what you do want to – focus there and arrive.

 

 

Powerfully Present with Peace

 

Being in each moment as it arises.

Not letting the anxiety of the situation take over.

Relaxing into and fully focused on each task as it arises, completing it wholly.

Eliminating all the distractions – because really missing out on facebook or Instagram for a day, week or even a month makes absolutely no difference.

If we want the world to show up for us – we must show it we are ready by leading – the way – powerfully present with peace.

I will show up and sink in.

 

 

How Would Life Be Better With Less

 

The idea that ‘less is more’ is nothing new.

Leonardo da Vinci was quoted as noting ‘simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.’

Yet in a life bombarded daily with advertisements that great minds develop in a way to convince us how unhappy we are without their goods, it is no wonder we have folded to the idea that we need to acquire to feel fulfilled.

The idea of realigning ourselves to what is meaningful can feel like an overwhelmingly large task. A task often put off when we catch a glimpse of the vast valley of despair that has crept in, on top of just not knowing where to start.

I tackled it by chipping away at it over the years and now manage it in maintenance mode, inspired to do so by revisiting what a life with less gives me in return.

A life with less for me isn’t about an empty bench top or a purposeful wardrobe, rather it is about what I can do in a life that is intentional, focused and purposeful.

Once I experienced the fulfilment that flooded into the space left by materialistic concern there was no turning back.

The time has created space for me to write books, become a hiker (later this year I am booked into hike Base Camp of Mt. Everest), I have started UNI and all just by using my spare time, outside my full-time working hours, intentionally.

The fulfilment I have gained from replacing mindless TV watching and shopping with reading, learning, more time with friends and family has the heart and soul of my life dancing on air – so much so there is no consideration of ever wanting to accumulate more of anything, from an object to a commitment.

Becuase once you start filling life with meaningful activities you see your true potential and you suddenly realise you can have it all.

 

Simplicity – Forget Clean Spaces and Focus on Why

 

We are hearing more and more about minimalism, simplicity, intentionalism and sparking joy.

We think of clean desks, spacious rooms, and simple designs – and sadly in doing so we miss the point.

The true meaning for me is one of just that – meaning. I am clear that what doesn’t have a real purpose, hold a key value or meaning in my life, instead detracts from life.

Clutter isn’t fun. Spending more hours than necessary at work to buy things we don’t really need isn’t fun. Having to then work more to afford to rent space for this surplus stuff, even less fun.

If we get clear on what we need, not be so caught up in the want, we can live a little more.

I don’t want to spend hours working out what to wear.

I don’t want to spend hours having to clean and maintain stuff I don’t really need.

I don’t want to work beyond the years I must to set up a good life for myself. And that want will only be met by living a life acquiring only what I need and removing all that I don’t.