Balancing Integration

Day 132 Week 19 Q2 Saturday, May 11, 2024

Everyone knows how important it is to be able to be balanced in your life. This does not mean that you always are, but you know that it is a priority. On the other hand, if you are able to integrate all of the different parts of your life, you do not need to spend as much time balancing because the integration tends to hold you in a state of balance. This means you do not need to do a consciously significant, rebalancing every day because you already have a set of behaviors that makes sense within the context of who you are.

Even if you have the significant picture parts of your life well integrated, there are still numerous interruptions that cannot be predicted but have to be dealt with. This requires you to spend a certain amount of time reacting to things that need to be dealt with, and the act of doing this can get you out of balance, even if you are integrated. Therefore, rebalancing is called for but not at the same scale as it would be if you were not already integrated.

This is where prioritization comes in because if it is a tremendous priority to you to be integrated, and you know that you have become unbalanced through any given day’s activity, then you would have a tendency to want to rebalance by the end of the day—or, in the worst case, tomorrow or the day after. 

For example, if there are things that you know need to be done every day in order to be integrated and that you normally intended to do in the morning but were unable to because you had to respond to important changes and interruptions, then you can make it an even higher priority to get these done in the afternoon, even if they may bump other lower priority items.

This is a good reason not to schedule your entire day. For example, if you only schedule half of a day, then you can lose the other half to interruptions, and that may be entirely reasonable. It is far more sensible than attempting to control your entire day, and then when the unanticipated interruptions come and get thrown off your game, you’ve become too unbalanced to be integrated.

Some people plan their day between nine and five and then have time before work and time after work to deal with everything else. This is increasingly difficult; some appointments need to be made in the middle of the day, especially if you are self-employed or have a nontraditional career, such as an artist, musician, or researcher.

Is it worth it to just plan all of the integrated parts of your day to fit into a fraction of the day? For example, can you address all of the items that need to be integrated by behaviors within 3 to 4 hours, leaving the other 20 hours to deal with everything else, including resting and eating?

Well, why not? Say, for example, that you could address all of the important parts of your life between 6 AM and 10 AM and get nothing else done for the rest of the day. Would you feel integrated and balanced? I can answer for myself that yes, you can do this, and there have been days when only those few hours were controllable, well-defined, integrated, and balanced.

Once you habituate the integration, which means you can routinely perform it in this finite amount of time corresponding to only 1/6 of the 24 hours you have available, then you have 18 more hours to deal with everything else. This is not simple, but it can be done, and I try to do it every day. And most of the time, this works.

See if there is a way for you to do your balancing integration for a fraction of your day so that you can permit a large number of interruptions and crises to impinge upon you without destroying your integration and balance.