Balancing Work with the Rest of Your Life Learning How to Prioritize

Everyone talks about balancing your work and personal lives but how do you really do it considering all the roles and responsibility we have. When one’s life is effectively balanced we are most satisfied and productive. In order to attain harmony we need to think about the things that are most important to us in our personal and professional lives and pursue those activities. This can raise hard questions, but making a conscious choice about our priorities helps us achieve greater satisfaction.


Suppose you have been given $100,000 to spend as you please on the values listed below. Review the list of values an then proceed to a make your selections. You can place all your money on one item, or spread it over several items. Regardless of how it is split you should add up to $100,000 Values budget sheet:

  • Success in your field
  • Fulfilling permanent relationship
  • Love and admiration of friends
  • A job that has a lot of status
  • To own a business
  • Self-confidence, a positive outlook on life, peace of mind
  • Healthy life style
  • Civic/volunteer activities
  • Lifetime financial security
  • Freedom within your work setting
  • A creative work environment
  • To travel extensively
  • Time to spend with family

Ideally you want to make up the amount of time you spend on activities with your values and guide your life’s decision accordingly. For example, is it more important to you to be a member of the local school board or a member of your professional association? Is it more important to take that extended business trip or to come home a day earlier for family concerns? Is it more important to stay in your current job or pursue a more exciting opportunity?

You need to recognize changing priorities. Life circumstances change. If the importance of different roles change, re-balance your investment in them. For example, as children get older they require less caregiving. You can then spend more time for work, volunteer roles or nurturing relationships and / or developing interests.The key is to remember as our values change we need to constantly adjust. One feels most fulfilled when their life is meaningful. This process begins by identifying what is presently most significant to us and then budgeting out time and choices accordingly. The best way to make sure this occurs is to constantly fine tune our lives by being honest with ourselves.