Being a busy woman is one of the biggest challenges we face when we want to be heart focused. Busyness robs us of our intentionality, our focus, and our purpose. It side-tracks us, exhausts us, and changes us. Today I’m talking about 5 character-based choices that you can make – that you need to make – to help you find balance with all you have to do.
Like I said, Busyness robs us of our intentionality, our focus, and our purpose. It side-tracks us, exhausts us, and changes us. And yet busyness can be productive, purposeful, and it is proper. We are to be busy people – we are to work and use our time wisely. The key is the choices we make in the middle of all the busy.
There has been a lot of pushback on the word balance lately. If we take it literally I understand that – because it evokes the picture of a scale and both arms need to be level in order to be balanced. So we need to have an equal amount of work to family, or busyness to rest. But that is unrealistic – different roles and different circumstances will require different demands on our time and energy.
Balance to me is about intention. On the one side of the scale is my intention and on the other side is my reality. We can’t measure how much time we spend doing work compared to how much time we spend doing family. But we can measure our intentions vs our reality. If we intend to give x amount of time to work and x amount of time to self-care and x amount of time to volunteering and x amount of time to family, we will set different amounts of time for different areas of our life – and regardless of the season of life, or the roles we have, we all have 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
So to keep balance in our life we need to be healthy in all of those areas – we need to protect our time, and use it where we say we are going to use it. When we do that – we are closer to finding balance.
Balance is about giving the right amount of time to the right activities across all of our life. When we say we are busy, we often have that out of whack and give too much time to the wrong activities.
5 Character Traits for Busy Women
I often talk about character – and I believe that we can make character-based choices that will help us maintain balance in our life. Character is defined as the quality of our responses to people or circumstances based on our moral values.
Here are five character traits that can help deal with busyness:
- Be intentional
- Be Wise
- Be Dependable
- Be Relational
- Have self-control
Be intentional – know where you are going, know how you are going to get there. This starts with knowing your spheres of responsibility.
- First of all there is our own life – we need to be responsible for our attitudes and our choices, our body and emotions
- Our relationships – we are to be responsible for our relationships – our marriage, our children, friends and neighbours
- Our home and all that it contains is our responsibility
- Our tasks – this will differ depending on what roles and opportunities you take on but we are to be responsible with our time, energies, skills, money, opportunities.
What do you want for each sphere of your life – and how are you going to get it, or how are you going to get there? When we can answer that question we start to establish our priorities – which helps us push back against busyness.
We need to know our priority and being intentional will help us define that.
Be wise – depend on God for his wisdom. Wisdom is the practical application of knowing Jesus. There are actually three aspects of wisdom referred to in the Bible:
- Craftsmanship – when they were building the tabernacle the craftsmen were referred to as wise in their craft.
- Solomon observed nature and drew conclusions – that was wise.
- Solomon was also given insight into the ways of God – another aspect of wisdom.
We need to grow in all three ways of wisdom – we need to:
- Study and practice our craft; whether it be the craft of homemaking, parenting, frugality, communicating, teaching – whatever skill it is you need you can practice it and improve it.
- Observe the world around us, and draw ‘heart’ lessons. Parables or stories connecting to real life are one of the strongest teaching methods we have to encourage our children’s hearts – and Solomon used this all the time.
- Know God’s word, to learn more and more of what God says, and then to live it out..
All wisdom comes from God. He has given us the ability to learn skills and knowledge, he has given us the ability to think and apply wisdom. He has sent the Holy Spirit to teach and guide us.
James 1:5 If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.
To grow in wisdom – to live a life directed by God’s wisdom – we need to ask him for it. Solomon asked God for wisdom – and he received it. God will give us wisdom too.
Be dependable – To do what you say you will do.
It seems like such a simple concept – to be true to your word, let your yes be yes and your no be no – but our desire to be dependable quickly crumbles as we take on too much, as we get too busy, as we lose balance and we lose sight of our priorities.
Three ways to show dependability
1– Follow through with our parenting (Podcast #20 about Keeping your word)
- I hear myself say, “in a minute”, “hang on”, “be there in a sec”. I don’t really mean these words – they are a delay tactic and I rarely hold myself accountable to being timely.
- I hear myself change my mind – when I cave in to big eyes, whining voice, or nagging or when someone’s anger, annoyance or disapproval makes me back down.
- I hear myself letting it go – I said it, but now I’m just not going to make a scene; I’m just going to let it go.
Each of those mum moments mean I’m not being dependable. I have to remind myself – If I’m not prepared to follow through don’t say it!
2– Reliable with our commitments – I want to be known as a person who is reliable. If a meeting was scheduled I’ll be there – on time. If I said I’d do something, it will be done – and go the extra mile. Busyness though stretches our ability to build this reputation – we start over scheduling, forgetting commitments, and not doing what I said I would do.
3– Consistent with our attitudes – We all have our ups and downs, but overall, I want to be characterised as a person who gives energy, not one who is exhausting to be around. And this all comes down to my attitude – my attitude to my family, the tasks I have to do, AND my attitude to when things go wrong or become hard.
Looking after myself, my whole self – spiritually, morally, emotionally, socially, intellectually, physically – which is hard when we are busy, but when I do, it will protect me from letting my attitude slide.
When we are committed to being dependable we will deal with the things that hold us up. Overscheduling will be one of the things that will need to change.
4- Be Relational
Are you task-orientated or people orientated? One isn’t better or worse than the other. People-orientated people will struggle to get things done, and task-orientated people will struggle to make time for people.
So regardless of where you sit on that scale – there is an aspect that people matter and that has to cut through our busyness. Jesus calls us to love others – so if we are too busy to love others – then we are indeed too focused on the tasks.
I know that sounds like it is easy for me to say because I am a people-focused person, but think about your values, and the reason why you do anything –
- What is time to do housework without time to enjoy our home with the people we love?
- What is money without people around us?
- What is a gift or talent without people to share it with?
- What is ministry when our children feel ignored?
When we look at our busyness we must take a hard check and ask ourselves are the things that we are doing help us to Love God and Love others? Or are we out of whack, are we too busy?
Being relational will turn our hearts towards people and their needs even though we may have things to do.
5-Have Self Control
Self-control – walking away from my own desires and doing what is right.
Self-control is the basis of maintaining a life balance as a busy woman. A person with self-control will not act impulsively – but rather intentionally. A person with self-control will set limits and walk away when things are not right.
We can get caught up in getting a project or task finished and yet we know we need to be getting dinner on, or our little person has asked us to help them, or we know we should be going to bed. It takes self-control to walk away from something that absorbs us, to focus on what we know is right (the right task for the right time).
It is easy for a busy person to get areas of their life out of balance. We tend to respond to the urgent needs and spend all our focus on that. By living with self-control, we can create time for the important things in our life – and if we can’t fit it all in, we have to acknowledge we have taken on too much or we need help.
We need to have self-control if we are to manage all aspects of our life – we specifically need to manage our time, health, resources, and passions along with our responsibilities, relationships, and roles in life.
Why Character is important
I want to be an influence in my children’s lives and I am sure that is what you want too; and busyness puts that in jeopardy. I’m reminded of this quote:
When you show character, people begin to respect you
After time, that respect grows into trust
After time, that trust builds a relationship
When you have relationship with people
You have influence…
As parents, we can just replace the word ‘people’ and read that again with our children in mind… When you show character, your children begin to respect you, after time, that respect grows into trust, after time, that trust builds a relationship, when you have relationship with your child you have influence!
Being busy, too busy, where I’m focused on the wrong things – certainly puts that at risk.
Heart Focused Action Step
The heart-focused action step for this week is to do a bit of a check – and this might be uncomfortable, but for us to be the best mums and dads we can be we have to be prepared to put in the work – the heart work, working on our own heart – the things that we believe, value, think, feel and choose.
So ask yourself – Am I too busy?
- What are the important things for this week? This month? This season?
- Are those things happening? (put a tick or a cross next to each one)
- Why are those things not happening?
- What can you do to make changes so they are happening?
And then remember, one of these 5 character-based choices may help you make the changes you need to make happen. Be intentional, Wise, Dependable, Relational and have self control.
If you are listening to this episode in early December – I really do hope you have been able to put in some thinking about how to make your Christmas celebrations heart-focused and that you are starting to reap the benefits of thinking that through as you start to spend time with your kids leading up to Christmas.
If you find this podcast helpful could you please take a moment to give a star rating right there on the podcast app? And if you have a moment more – write a sentence or two on how the episode or podcast has helped you. I’d really appreciate the reviews as it does help new listeners find the podcast. Thanks for being here – and letting me into your family life!
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Belinda lovingly shares her heart and passion for supporting parents. You’ll love her tips and will be able to put them into practice right away.
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Belinda always has good parenting advice from a Christian point of view. . I love following her on Instagram. I can’t wait to listen to her podcast.
~Life at that Creek
Hi there! I'm Belinda and I'm glad you are here!
I am a family life coach and help parents to raise their kids with faith, values and life skills in a way that is intentional, relational and heart-focused. Read more on the About page
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I also offer one-to-one coaching. Your first coaching call, JumpStart, is free - and we spend time getting to know each other, as well as discussing the things you are finding hard so that we can clarify the key step forward. At the end of the call, you will have a heart-focused action step to work on. You can then decide if you want to book a Moving Forward call and then later continue with an Accountability call.