Do you feel like you’re dropping the ball and don’t know how to get back on top?
We have this metaphor about juggling balls in our lives with all of the tasks we are trying to get done. When we forget something or don’t do something we say, “Oh I dropped the ball on that.”
This could just be a normal occurrence because you always have too much on your plate, and you're always busy. You're always running from one thing to another. Or maybe it's because life got busy all of a sudden:
Even your kids, softball, and coach add another layer of responsibility. I know that you want to be on top of things. I know you want to be the one who not only does what they say, but also does it in a way that has great results.
You don't want to be just doing things at 50%. I know you want to get things done the right way andon time with the best results possible.
What do we do when we have so many balls we’re juggling or so many plates that we’re spinning? How do we get through that time where it feels crazy?
In one way or another, we’re going to drop something, forget something, not complete something and not do the best job we wanted to do.
Imagine we’re juggling so many balls when life gets overwhelming and we’re bound to drop a ball here or there. That can be a problem. Again imagine we’re juggling balls but this time, some are glass balls and some are rubber balls. If you drop a rubber ball they will bounce and you can just pick them up later. But if you drop the glass balls they will be damaged or break when you drop them.
First of all, how do you know which are glass balls and which are rubber balls? Well, I have to let you know that this will change constantly. It's really about you sitting down with all the areas of life.
Things like your health, kids, and finances are usually the glass balls. If you drop them, they will crack, or break and there will be consequences:
You have to ask yourself, "At this moment in time, which areas of my life are the most important?" By most important, I mean, which areas if dropped, will break, will crack, and there will be consequences. Let me go through the different areas:
Look at all areas of your life and ask yourself, which are my top priorities right now in life?
I'd say maybe you have three or four glass balls. Oftentimes, when life gets overwhelming or when we get sick or something extra falls onto our plate, this is when we have to go into “maintenance mode”. This means the mode where you figure out what your glass balls are, which are rubber balls, so your focus is on the important ones and then you don't have to worry about those areas as much. You can drop or lower your standards and your attention to those areas.
For example, the time when my son broke his femur. He was about two and a half. He was in a hip spica cast, basically a full body cast. With that, he was at home and he needed me for everything. You know how toddlers are. They want a lot and very quickly.
I'm working from home, but I'm also caring for him. So I knew that things like cleanliness of the house or seeing my friends and time with my husband at that point just wasn't as important. These were a few of the balls that I could just let bounce. They were rubber.
Other times like in the passing of my father, or even in the time that he was in palliative care, I knew that my glass balls at that moment were my family, my health, my friends, and my spiritual life. My business, I put on the backburner (other than serving my current clients), also my personal development and fun and recreation. These other areas just were not on my radar.
What you can do
I ask you now, based on where you are in life, which are the glass balls that you're juggling, and which ones are your rubber balls? Now that you know that, what do you do with that information?
You need to make sure that your calendar has time for the glass balls. That your schedule adds in focus time so you can do things to help those areas, strengthen them, or check things off on your list. Then look at the rubber balls. What does it mean to let things go in those areas, to let things slide or to go into maintenance mode where you just maintain that level, or you let it go just slightly below your satisfaction level and you don't put as much focus on it? If it works for you financially, you can also bring in help for those areas, like a cleaner, a meal service, or take an Uber instead of the bus to save time.
What does it look like if the rubber ball involves other people? For example, if you were to do this with friends, you can reach out to friends and say, “Hey, I've got this big project at work right now, so I'm not going to be able to make our weekly meal out or a weekly call. It's just for the next three weeks, and then I would love to reconnect with you all.” I’m sure they will understand.
Maybe you've been reading every day for 10 minutes or a half hour and you know that you need that extra time to be able to check in on a family member. Great. So be it. You just don't read as much for that week or two.
You get to make the decision. You get to decide what you are keeping and what you are putting on pause or just not putting as much time and energy into. This idea of we're all juggling glass balls and rubber balls really just comes down to:
You don't have to be on top of everything in every single area of life. This tactic is really one of the easiest ways to rebalance your life to be able to refocus on the things that are most important and will really help you to move forward. As a reminder, each time you go into “Maintenance Mode” could give you a different set of priorities, a different set of glass balls.
You just really need to be the one to make that decision, then put a plan in place and let those around you know if they're going to be involved or affected by it. Many times in my life, I have had to go into maintenance mode. I have had to let the rubber balls just bounce and bounce and bounce. This is not a forever thing. Eventually you do get to pick those balls up and honor those priorities again. But at certain points in your life:
It doesn't matter. What matters is your sanity. What matters is your priorities. What matters is you're going to be able to overcome this and move into a time where you get to pick all those balls up again and juggle them while feeling calm and confident.
If you're looking for a way to find more balance in your life or to go deeper on your priorities and how to really figure out which balls are glass and which balls are rubber, then reach out and let's do the “Life Balance Audit”. This is a complimentary session I offer from time to time which will help you see where you can balance your life. I have 5 to gift right now and you can book yours by messaging me at email@example.com.
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