This is a big one, right? You know that getting clear on one part of life will positively affect every other part…but it takes time, effort and focus which you would rather spend on something more productive. A smooth life design doesn’t happen overnight, especially when you have a partner, kids, pets, maybe a business or two and myriad other responsibilities.

If you are new here, looking at the whole picture is a recipe for overwhelm and will probably send you hiding under the duvet, hoping it all goes away. If you have been following along, you have already taken some steps to reduce the sense that you have to do it all at once, or that you are the only one to do it all. You are able to see things more objectively – i.e., take things less personally – and know that baby steps are often the best steps.

Life design is about systems thinking. What do you actually need? What are the basics? This applies across the board, from meal planning to choosing your work hours to coordinating extracurricular activities. Sure, sometimes sacrifice is required, but that is a two-way street. Many of us are under the impression that what we want is what we need and we will forgo our needs for the shiny thing, often justifying that as being of benefit to the whole.

Making life work for all involved means compromise and that can be hard when you think you have to do and be everything you want right now…and your partner is the same…and you think your kids have to be that way. Slow down! Sometimes the best way to make things happen is to take your attention off of what you are trying to do and allow it to take shape.

Just for today, take one thing in your life that is taking up more time, energy and effort than it needs to. Choose something that you actually enjoy, or don’t mind doing. Meal planning often comes up. Many people really enjoy cooking, and have great ideas of what dinners can be like, but when push comes to shove, they don’t have time to make the fabulous spread and ingredients go to waste as it becomes another night of takeout. This spins into kids not even learning the basics of cooking so they can help out.

This may not be fun, or even interesting, but how about spending one day on meal planning and preparation? That is what freezers are for…and crock pots. Too much? How about making one big batch of something per week so you always have a delicious and nutritious standby in the freezer? Yes, I have tried this while starting a business in the midst of caregiving for my parents and found option number two to be a great start. Preparing large batches of three different things in one afternoon equaled 17 meals for the days that I worked late, had an event or was just too wiped out to cook. Whew! Life hack.

That is what I mean. How can you take those aspects of life that you want to be more than you can give and create some space for what you actually need. Look back at your purpose, your roles, your expectations and work on ways to make life more manageable. That is what Life Design is all about… you’ll find an exercise and video link in Day 6 of the 7 Day Challenge.

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