A couple of months ago I took over the social media for my church, and I have started attending the weekly staff meetings there. This week a member of the leadership team had just read the book The Emotionally Healthy Leader, and wanted us to do a quick test to see where we ranked in several areas of emotional health. I actually scored higher than I was expecting in most areas, except for one area where I am an emotional toddler – the gift of limits.
Limits boils down to boundaries. Balance. Priorities. Balance is not one of my gifts. I hate saying no because it feels confrontational, so instead I overbook myself to the point of breakdown.
As a self-employed hairstylist, I do all of my own booking. I have gotten texts at 3 AM, phone calls at my grandpa’s funeral, and gone in on many, many days off to accommodate my clients. It’s starting to feel like I am constantly on-call, and enough is enough.
I have been blogging since 2008, but have only given it a serious go for about the past 18 months. When I am not at the salon, you can probably find me in front of a computer. Writing, social media, taking classes … I should have hit it big by now, right? I have wanted to be a writer since I was 5 years old, but no one told me how little time I would actually spend writing.
After months of being frazzled and running on empty, I have come to realize how vital it is to find a healthy balance in all of the things demanding my time and attention, and am developing a good set of standards to prioritize by.
What are my priorities? I like to say that my priorities are God, family, then work, but the way I schedule my life does not coincide with that. It is ok to say no when things conflict with your priorities. I say God is my first priority, yet I maybe take 5 minutes to zip through a devotion. I say my family is a priority, but I couldn’t tell you the last time I spent time with them without my cell phone buzzing with clients or blog notifications.
I have resolved to start making my schedule reflect my priorities, because at the end of the day, I do control my schedule and I have the ability to say no. I might lose some blog traffic, or even salon clients, but I believe that God will reward me having healthy boundaries.
Boundaries? Oh, there is another B word. Every single adult needs to read the Boundaries book. It talks about mental, physical, spiritual and emotional boundaries and why it is imperative that we respect them. You can’t have true balance without having boundaries.
I’m done being bullied into saying yes to things that throw my schedule out of balance. I’m done being so afraid of consequences that I allow myself to plow through the healthy boundaries that I have in place.
If this is an area you struggle with, I would encourage you to pull out a notebook and write down a list of your priorities. Spend some time thinking about them. When something demands your time or attention, look at it through the lens of those priorities and see if it is really worth trading your time for. Because in reality, we are given a finite number of days and minutes. Our time is valuable currency that we tend to exchange for cheap pursuits that leave us empty and frazzled.
[bctt tweet=”Our time is valuable currency that we tend to exchange for cheap pursuits that leave us empty and frazzled.”]
As an business owner, wife, and mom to a high-schooler, my schedule is probably always going to be busy. But in this season I am going to schedule intentionally, and stay true to my priorities. Do you struggle with balance?
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing – Ecclesiastes 3:1-8