It All Comes Down to Time

April 2, 2009

The sixth in a series of work-life balance stories pushes our minds to the edge by understanding where balance originates and how to apply our relationship with time to achieve it.

Lifestyle coach, Suzanne Ballantyne states:

“The world may be off kilter; but we don’t have to be…Peace begins with each one of us and within our selves is a perfect place to start to gain a perspective that puts things back on kilter one heart and soul at a time.”

Peak Performance Strategist for In the Flow Coaching Renita Kalhorn claims:

“We need to actively become aware of and regain the natural rhythms of energy – mental, emotional, physical and spiritual – that have gotten lost in the (literally) inhuman pace of modern society. Time is finite; energy can be expanded and renewed.”

When we address issues of internal equilibrium, it is really about expansion and renewal. Human beings are ever-moving organisms. Much like a see-saw, balance implies stasis so it is no wonder that balance remains an ideal.

Consider what Dr. Eric Plasker says about time.

Author of The 100 Year Lifestyle, Dr. Plaser suggests that we balance our lives to optimize financial, professional, and personal fulfillment by dividing our calendars into three important areas: prime time, prep time, and play time.

He writes:
Prime Time

“Prime days are about generating results, building relationships or generating money – to use your talents and abilities in more effective ways to create value in the world. Ultimately, this value will generate the money you need to finance your 100 Year Lifestyle. For example, if you are a teacher prime days are when you teach classes, or if you are a manager, prime time is when you are meeting with your team to ensure productivity. 

Prep Time

Prep days are about organization and preparing for great prime times and play times. For example, if you are a teacher prep days are spent organizing, grading and creating lesson plans. If you do not spend enough time on your prep times, the quality of your prime times will be reduced. 

Play Time

Play time, or vacation, is simply about enjoying your life. On a play time day, you are not busy trying to stay organized. This could be reading a book at home or on the beach, going for a walk in the woods, spending time with your life partner, traveling to exotic locations or just celebrating life.

Your ratio of prime, prep and play time days will vary as you grow in income, security and age – and even by which career you have. Plan your schedule the way you want it and how it fits with your company’s schedule. Build flexibility into your plan – balance is key. The important thing to understand is that how you spend your time is one of the key things over which you have control, and that will directly impact the quality of your 100 Year lifestyle.”

It makes sense to embrace the notion of ‘for every time there is a season’. So if you are in the throes of chaos, you can still find islands of peace by taking some me-time with the knowledge that this too shall pass.


4 Responses to “It All Comes Down to Time”

  1. slowfamilyliving Says:

    Oooh. I love that breakdown. That’s kind of good to keep in mind as we plan out our week and seek to strike that delicate balance of slowness. Thanks!

  2. Kim Says:

    “We need to actively become aware of and regain the natural rhythms of energy – mental, emotional, physical and spiritual – that have gotten lost in the (literally) inhuman pace of modern society. Time is finite; energy can be expanded and renewed.” So true- excellent point! I’ve just started working at home and I think a lot of us don’t step back and evaluate how we’re “spending” our time. I’m making a conscious effort to manage it more efficiently, so I’m definitely bookmarking this post!

  3. Val Garner Says:

    Great suggestions! It is difficult however when you plan perhaps prep time, and then life happens!

  4. powerofslow Says:


    Ah, yes! Plans do go astray…the good news is when we allow for prep time, we refine our vision so even when our paths take an unexpected twist, we’re still clear where we’re ultimately headed.


    Working from home can be frustrating and liberating all at the same time. Congratulations to you for winning back your time. It’s all you truly have!


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