B is for Balance
Welcome back to the Single Dad Zone. In speaking to many single dads, I have found the struggles and obstacles I faced are commonplace. I also found many resources for single moms, but few for single dads. I created the Single Dad Zone to be a place for us to share what we have learned to be better and more efficient dads.
This is an A to Z series on the three core areas where I believe single dads need to focus: Mindset, Fitness and Organization. B is for Balance.
If there is one thing that is important to living a healthy satisfying life, it’s having balance. Now, I’m not talking about fancy yoga moves where you strain, clench and pray you don’t fall over. That Balance is good too. This coming from a clutz who is physically challenged with Balance.
When I say B is for Balance, I am talking about the balance of priorities in your life. The physical and emotional Balance we need despite the demands of raising kids without a partner to help.
Balance is an area where many of us, including me, often feel like we fail. There is not enough time in the day. I feel like I don’t balance the needs of my kids and career with my own physical and emotional needs.
Finding balance in the chaos of life sometimes seems impossible, but it’s not. Managing time is the key to having balance in your life. You need to do a deep dive and assess your life. What’s important? How much time do your priorities require?
Finding Your Balance is an Uneven World
I know there are certain priorities that I have to balance with raising my kids and career to have balance in my life. For me, exercise, mindfulness, education through reading (personal development), and working my business are things I need to maintain my physical and emotional balance.
My goal is to carve out time to make sure I squeeze in the priorities on a daily basis with my normal schedule. I feel more balance when I know I’ve committed time to those priorities. Life happens on occasion where work, my kids or some emergency dominates my time and throws my balance off. Typically, I know what my day will hold and by scheduling these priorities into my schedule, I know they will get done. I schedule to make sure I keep my B is for Balance
Planning a Balanced Life
How do I plan a day to make sure there is balance? My kids are my top priority and are the largest time demand on my schedule. There are two time periods that I need to block out for them. The first period is between the time I wake them up and drop them off at school. The second period is from when I pick them up from school until they go to bed. My work day is also a solid block of time in the middle of the kids’ time. Around those three periods is when I schedule my exercise, mindfulness, education time, and working my business. I use the margins to make sure everything gets the attention it needs. The margins are morning and evening. A couple of hours in the morning and a couple of hours in the evening is four hours. I also use my lunch time to squeeze in some of the priorities.
My general schedule looks something like this:
5:00am to 6:30am: Exercise and Meditate
6:30am to 7:30am: Kids wake up, before care and then drive to the train
7:30am to 8:30am: Train time for reading
8:30am to 5:00pm: Work with exercise during lunch if possible
5:00pm to 6:00pm: Commute Home. More reading time
6:00pm to 8:00pm: Homework, dinner, relax and prepare kids for bed
8:00pm to 10:00pm: Work on business and other training
Hitting the priorities of exercise, mindfulness, reading personal development, and working my business requires some sacrifice. I eliminate things that do not fall within those priorities. That means television, video games, Facebook scrolling and other time sucks must be sacrificed to maintain the balance.
Write it Down and Get it Done
My crutch is my planner. It keeps me sane because it is where I outline my schedule to make sure I maintain the balance needed to accomplish my priorities that maintain my emotional and physical needs. My best days happen when I feel like I maintain the necessary balance and all my priorities get the attention they deserve.
B is for Balance. How do you balance your life? Please comment below and share with us.