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Achieving Work-Life Harmony Means Being Intentional

Work | Grant Botma | 8 mins

The following is adapted from Grant’s Book “Work-Life Harmony.”

People often ask me how I manage to be a business owner, an author, and someone who is present for my family. In other words, how do I actually make all of these rhythms happen? The answer is that I have to be very intentional with my time and as efficient as possible to make my purpose come to life.

Efficiency means using your time intentionally. Making choices takes energy, and choosing the things you are going to do can be a barrier to actually doing those things. If you’re efficient, you can make the choices ahead of time and then repeat the choices that have worked previously. Efficiency also removes decision fatigue, the mental energy you have to spend making decisions. It’s about decreasing that fatigue while still doing the things you need and want to do.

You can also make intentional choices in different areas of your life to save time. When people think they need work-life balance, what they’re actually thinking is, “I don’t have enough time.”

I don’t have a magic solution to give you more time, but I can help you make better use of the time you do have—without taking time away from any of the important areas of your life. No, I’m not going to tell you to work less. Instead, let me show you how being more efficient means that you can get more done in less time so you can better live out your purpose.

Make Your Commuting Time Efficient

One example of how I use my time efficiently is on my commute. When I’m driving, I typically (and intentionally) do one of three things:

  • About 80 percent of the time, I gain knowledge by listening to a podcast, audiobook, or sermon.
  • I sit in silence and pray about 10 percent of the time.
  • I have fun 10 percent of the time. I blast the stereo as loud as I can and belt out a good song.

Instead of spending my drive home worrying about work, listening to opinions on talk radio, or mindlessly driving, I’m using that time to intentionally do something that matters to me. I’m not wasting that time. It’s time that I have to spend driving, so I’m using it for something instead of taking time away from my wife or kids or work. That’s time I can use.

Use Vacation Time Efficiently

I’m also efficient with my vacations. Whenever I need some time with my family, or I’ve just emerged from a busy season and need time to rest away from home, we have some go-to spots we like as a family. For us, it’s the beach in Carlsbad, California.

It’s comfortable for us and close to Legoland, where my kids like to go. We can drive there, which means we don’t have to worry about plane tickets or travel. There’s a very low barrier to entry—it doesn’t require a lot of thinking and there’s not much standing in the way of making it happen. If we wanted to go tomorrow, we could get in the car and get away.

Having efficient vacation choices in your pocket is super helpful, particularly because vacations are a different form of rest that can help you rest more efficiently. They don’t have to be elaborate, expensive, or mind-blowing places.

Sure, sometimes you want to go to Hawaii or Fiji, and don’t rule that out. Just be intentional about when you want to go on big, blowout trips, and when you simply want to get away for a period of rest to somewhere comfortable and familiar that doesn’t require you to figure out where to go or how to get there. You can switch into rest mode even faster.

Save Time Figuring Out What to Wear

My wardrobe is another area where I’m very efficient. I don’t go full-on Mark Zuckerberg or Steve Jobs, but I’m close. I basically wear the same style of jeans (or shorts, depending on the weather) and the same shirt in a few different colors.

That works for me because I don’t have to go through my wardrobe every day and figure out what to wear. I just grab something, know it matches, and I’m ready to hit the day, do the work I need to do, and focus on my purpose.
I spend less than two minutes getting dressed each day, whereas most people are spending up to ten. That adds up over a week—and even more over a month, year, or a lifetime! Let’s say it takes you seven minutes every morning to choose your clothes and get dressed. It takes me two. That means I save five minutes every day, which adds up to 1,825 minutes saved every year—or more than 30 hours!

And that’s just one choice. Imagine how much time you can use when you add up all of your efficient choices. If you make five efficient choices and they each save you the same amount of time, you get more than six days back at the end of the year. Now you can build up how much time you take off or use those bonus days to pursue your purpose.

Remove Decision Time and Decision Fatigue

These are just a few examples of how I’m efficient in my own life. I’m not saying you have to be efficient in the same ways or areas I am. In fact, you probably won’t make the same efficiency choices I do in the same areas, but you can find other areas that don’t matter as much to you, where you can remove some of the decision time and decision fatigue.

There are so many ways to save time and mental energy. You can put your bills on autopay. You can set up recurring deliveries for things you buy consistently. You can get a robot vacuum for your house. You can sign up for subscription meal boxes, so you don’t have to think about what’s for dinner. You can even schedule someone to come to your house or office to do oil changes, wash your car, and/or groom your pets.

You also don’t have to start with all of these at once. Just pick one and do it for a month straight. Then choose another one and add that. Eventually, these efficient habits build-up, and you hardly notice the change—but you’ll definitely notice how much time you’ve saved!

For more advice on how to be more intentional and efficient in how you spend your time, you can find Work-Life Harmony on Amazon.

Written By

Grant Botma

Husband, Dad, and Sun Valley Community Church student ministry volunteer. A Finance Expert and Founder of Stewardship. Christian Ministries major from Arizona Christian University and bestselling author.

Published on Mar 28, 2022