Assess the balance in your life by creating a pictorial representation of your life. Using a pie chart you can easily see if your priorities in life are being met. Hang it up somewhere that you can see it. How does it look? Does it look the way you want it to?
I completed this exercise three years ago to make sure that my work life balance and other aspects of my life were in line with my priorities. I decided it was time to revisit the exercise. Here’s what my pie looks like right now.
I think it’s a pretty good looking pie as far as my priorities in life. Here’s some of the highlights:
- Children is my time alone with the kids; Family time is the time spent with all four of us together.
- Personal time includes time by myself and time alone with my spouse without the kids.
- Leisure includes recreation. I could probably stand to get a little more recreation in!
- Business time is primarily devoted to My Dollar Plan right now.
- Household & Money includes making dinner, grocery shopping, paying bills, etc.
As you know, I’m headed back to work. Starting next week, I’m going to need to squeeze in another 32% of my time to make room for my job. Essentially, I’m going to have to take my happy pie and squeeze it into 67% of my time going forward.
Of course, it’s not just going to slide in neatly. Some categories will need to adjust more than others. There’s only so much time in a day, and my family comes first. However, it’s important not to lose site of making personal time for yourself and your spouse too. I’ll probably need to scale back on the business too to make it all fit in. It’s important that I not only achieve work life balance, but also balance in my time spent away from work.
Part of a successful strategy towards life can also be applied towards aspirations of wealth. Don’t focus on something 100% of the time or you might miss out on other important parts of life. When one of my ideas ends up taking too much time, I cut it off… like the couponing that started taking too much time. This helps keep my life in balance.
Creating Your Own Life Mix Pie Chart
This is a fun exercise to do for a week. Track how many hours you spend on things and total it up at the end of the week. Calculate your percentages and draw a pie chart. Does it match your priorities and values? If not, what do you have to change?
Recently The Digerati Life wrote the Supermom Myth. She identified some categories that might help you get started:
Family: we enjoy our kids and hope to be good parents
Health: we’d love to live a productive, comfortable existence
Money: we aim to be financially independent
Personal Time: how about some time to ourselves?
Friends and Community: we seek social interactions
Church (for a good number of us): we nurture our spiritual side
Leisure and Recreation: we’d like some time for play
Business: we hope to build something both fulfilling and profitable
Job: we’re looking to further our careers
Household Obligations: we’ve got a house to run
I’m going to have to be more efficient with some of my interests if I want my chart to continue to reflect my priorities. Since some of my business time will be scaled back I’m going to make some adjustments at My Dollar Plan. One of the changes you will likely see is posts on weekdays only. I might respond a little slower to emails, however, I will still read every single one! Hopefully you’ll get your dose of my babbling during the week. On the weekends, you can work on making your life mix chart and I’ll be working on spending quality time with my family!
What does your pie chart look like?