Are you stuck? Does life feel fragmented and out of sorts?
I’ve found that by periodically taking an inventory of my life brings peace and helps me make decisions about how my family and I live life. There is something about wrapping my mind around everything that is going on that moves me toward peace no matter how busy life is.
Here’s a simple way you can get a handle on what you’re giving your time and energy to right now. It can easily be done in 20 minutes assuming your rugrats aren’t running around interrupting you every 10 seconds clamoring for a glass of juice.
Step #1 – Identify BIG areas of responsibility – Pull out a piece of paper or a journal and write down all the big areas of your life that you are responsible for and leave some space under each. These are the main areas of responsibility like marriage, job, school, children, house, finances, church involvement, etc.. You probably have between 4-8. Mine looks like this.
- Personal health
- Church and other Volunteer engagement
Step #2 – Identity the categories or areas of focus underneath each BIG area – These things correspond to all your tasks that are swirling about your daily life. You probably have between 4-8 categories under each big area. A few of mine look like this.
- Personal health – Spiritual, reading, fitness, social, recreation
- Family – Marriage, kids school/activities, home projects, schedule coordination, errands
Some of these responsibilities will change with the change of seasons. That’s totally fine. Pay attention to the current reality of your life not what it will be in 6 months when your child is done with soccer practices.
Getting this information down on paper helps you pause and think a little bit deeper about life. I’m not saying cut anything out right away, but take a long look and begin to understand the things that impact your life and make a difference in your ability to really thrive and feel healthy about your day to day life.
Even if I don’t cut anything out right way away this process helps me be less reactive and more proactive in my decision making. Which in turn helps me live by my values…which is another blog post.
The original exercise this post is based on is found in the book Do More Better by Tim Challies.