Updated: Aug 10, 2020
Maybe it's a bit unconventional, but consider that a balanced life doesn't mean doing everything an equal amount of time. Instead, it's prioritizing the important at the very moment.
Obviously, when you're sick, health will be your top priority. When you decide to focus on your career, everything else will take a step back. When you meet a new lover, you'll want to talk to them and only them, and no one else can fill that void. When you have a baby, that'll be your number one. And that's okay!
When you have your priorities in order, you will be able to focus without trouble on the most important thing at the moment. Sometimes it will be family, sometimes friends, other times health, money, travel, work, etc.
That's why there's a season for everything.
So make a list of your current priorities.
What are the top 5 things most important to you right now? You can start with a list of what's most important in general, but then you have to narrow it down to what's important today. If you say your health is important -- did you work out today? Did you eat healthy? Did you drink more water? And if not, what did you do instead? Put those things as priorities and really analyze your time. If all you did was watch TV or run unimportant errands and you'd like to do better, rearrange your priorities and put the effort where it's most important to you. Then, put it on your calendar and schedule those priorities!
Someone once asked me if I feel sad when I miss out on acting gigs in LA when I'm visiting home in NC. I did feel sad before but since I changed my outlook, I don' t feel that way anymore.
A few years ago. I was home and had to extend my stay because of my mom's health condition. I didn't tell many people why. During that time, a producer of a pilot I was cast in, contacted me to come in to fill out paperwork. I asked if I could e-sign it, since the director who cast me already knew I was going to be out of state. To that, the producer said, "No, you can't e-sign it," that I was kicked off the project, and "have a great vacation." What nerve, I thought. To my knowledge, the filming either didn't happen or didn't go anywhere.
During the same stay, a short film written with me in mind went forward with filming without me. I was later told, "you would had been much better." That project was later abandoned as two parties couldn't agree on how to proceed, so it never saw the light of day.
I was also asked to double an actress on a show I really loved. They called each time I was out of town! I suppose it was not meant to be and perhaps it's better that way. Since then I met another actress from that show in a non-industry setting, who went on to star in the spin-off!
So after all, I was supposed to be where I was. There was a reason I was there. That reason was my priority.
You never know what will happen. Don't regret something you couldn't do while you were attending to what's most important to you. Remember what matters most.
So succumb to what matters most in the moment. Be with your family when they need you, pay close attention to your health and take care of yourself when you feel run down, travel to your best friend's wedding, put in the work, support your friend's project, go to your most wanted destination, learn what you need to learn, love the person you're with with all your being - and prioritize each item at a time. Let it really sink in and fill your soul. Don't let it share space with other categories. Be real with yourself. If you're working 80 hours a week, some things are going on the back burner. If you're having an exciting week, sleep might have to wait. And maybe, you can outsource some of your errands so you can focus on the important.
When you get better at prioritizing, you will be able to switch focus better and quicker, and will be able to give it your all to multiple priorities within a day. But start with one.
Enjoy where you are. Make your decisions consciously. Prioritize the important, not the balanced life. Be present with life, not the idea of it.
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