What are the differences between load, balance and capacity when you are planning your time and energy?Support the show
00:13 Hi, this is Katie and thank you for joining me on the My Senses, My Space Podcast. And this is a podcast about feeling the world intensely, creating time to evaluate your needs, and planning your life and space to fit you.
00:30 So today I wanted to talk about the words or terms load balance, which I want to refocus on the word focus and capacity and how these play out in your life.
00:46 So the combination of all of these is how your life unfolds what commitments that you have, pleasure and enjoyment and fun that you get out of life, things that help you learn and grow, all of these things come together, right, that you live your daily life.
01:06 But when we sit down to kind of like plan out the week or figure out our appointments or figure out what our to-do's are and priorities are, these are the things that come into it.
01:18 Now I am going to be doing a future episode on figuring out priorities, but I will mention that a little bit in here.
01:26 So first talking about load, load is what you have said yes to in your life, what you have to do as well.
01:36 It's a combination of what you can control and what you can't control. These are the things that are sitting on your you want to complete.
01:52 So it can be you know you have to take the kids to school and you have to go to work or you have to do chores and manage the household and those things.
02:03 But you also want to learn and take breaks and take time in nature and take time with friends, all those things.
02:15 And so this is like a container of what can happen within your day. Not that it has to happen, but these are the things that you're kind of containing and you can do like a brain dump on these of like this is all the things that I have that could be possibilities and all the things that I have to do
02:34 . This can also come about because of societal pressures. Many times when you are managing a household, there are a lot of duties on top of that of taking care of things within your house, keeping track of what needs to be refilled and refreshed.
02:52 You know, appointments to health practitioners and social dates and everything, it can be a lot. So this won't be an episode on how rebalance that if it's out of balance within your relationship or however your life is structured, whether you're co-parenting, whether you have a partner you live with
03:19 , whatever, or that you're solo. It just can be a lot and so why I call this load is it can feel heavy on your shoulders and looking at it as a partnership and what can you discuss with a partner that you live with or other friends and family, how can you kind of rebalance that load and I'm going to
03:45 get to the word balance but in this sense sometimes you really need to have help in these situations because it can all be way too much and you can experience burnout.
03:57 But the load itself is a combination of what you've agreed to and what you have to do. The next term is balance.
04:07 So balance we love to use this term as like oh I have work-life balance right? Even if you aren't going to a job that's outside of your home, you have commitments at home that you're doing, there's this notion of like going well as much as I work on things whether you know cleaning the house, taking
04:29 care of the kids, doing presentations, you know, getting on the Zoom meetings, whatever that is, working hard, should be balanced with all this play time and you know time to just let all that off of your shoulders.
04:50 I think this can be a very kind of, I don't know if it's volatile or kind of like this really kind of discuss does this even exist and I don't think true balance ever exists.
05:07 I think it's a societal pressure that is often put upon moms or people who are non-binary in the relationship who tend to take up a lot of the caretaking roles and it's kind of this well if you do it hard enough, you put all this energy into it then you deserve to have time off.
05:33 You know it's not something that we should say that we are rewarded with rest that's not accurate. We need rest to keep doing things.
05:49 So we can also conceive of balance as like well I'm putting focus into the home, I'm putting focus into my spirituality, I'm putting focus into personal care, I'm putting focus into financial projects that we have and I don't think we ever have like an exact balance of all of these happening.
06:10 Personally I you know use the Moxie Life system and for my planner and it has all of these categories. You can also use these categories in other planners and in other systems that are very similar to this.
06:25 They kind of take your life and divide it into all of these different things. And it can help you see that one area might be neglected but it also is kind of like this expectation on you of like well I should be pouring energy into that because everything should be equal right?
06:43 No there are so many times where these areas in our lives just don't have anything going on in them and you can leave them blank and you can refocus your energy elsewhere and saying well the financial stuff is kind of being taken care of right now.
07:00 We set up a lot of stuff maybe a couple months ago. We're just writing out like our plan and just following it and so I'm not going to put a lot of energy into that because I'm going to focus over here on a new work project.
07:15 So it really to me is looking at how to put focus into the things that are important to you which can be rest and having fun and also getting something really important that work done or taking a family trip or just an evening out or something like that.
07:37 That prioritizing what is most important to you at that season or period of time in your life. It is not going to be equally balanced.
07:47 It's going to feel at times imbalanced and I don't want people to feel like that imbalance means something is wrong with you.
07:58 You're just taking in the information and you're seeing what is happening in your life from your load and seeing what is most important to and sometimes we are doing a little bit of this and a little bit of that each day so that we're making progress on a couple main things at the same time but there
08:21 isn't going to be like picturing this scale of balance going oh well my work is equally balanced with my home life in my you know rest time so that doesn't really happen.
08:36 So into one of my really wanting to achieve so if I say no to some things I have access and capacity to do these other things and that brings us to capacity.
08:57 So capacity to me is how you're waking up every day and figuring out what your energy level is. This is not about how much you have on your saying okay I have this load which is all the commitments that I have.
09:17 I have this focus on where I would ideally like to focus my energy but capacity is that day how are you waking up to any chronic illness symptoms that you're having any neurodivergencies of burnout or trying to you could be just getting over an illness you could be have taken care of a child who was
09:47 sick or a parent or anyone else in your family or friend it can be that you've been working so hard on certain things that you just need rest.
10:00 So waking up every morning and saying okay how do I feel today taking the time to slowly enter your day if you can't.
10:13 Sometimes you can't, sometimes you have to rush out the door but really recognizing what is your capacity for the day because I think there can be a lot of societal pressure on saying well I need to be 100% today or at 80% today but your 20% may be your 100% for the day so what do I mean by that.
10:35 So you may wake up and go okay my energy is really low so I'm not going to judge it and compare it to other people's 100% I'm going to create my own 100% and work within that and your 100% is compared to what your days are.
10:55 Not your former self-dating, it's not maybe when you didn't have a strong of symptoms with chronic illness maybe you didn't have as much burnout it can be that when you're younger we compare ourselves to like oh yeah well 20 year old me could do all these things but 40 year old me can't so it's not
11:13 that it's like looking at the last six months to a year and what is your capacity now and some days you'll have 20% of you capacity but that still equals 100% of your energy for the day and how you're going to dole that out to what you're want to focus on so this is where things cannot go to plan so
11:40 you may be like ideally I have you know this set amount of time and I can get all this done but when you wake up that morning and you feel a certain way we need to say yes I surrender to this is all I have today and this is all I have to give and try to see how we can use that not to the most efficient
12:04 point of everything we want to focus on it's not about using up that full 20% of and then burning out on that right you don't want to go to 21% and then the next day you can't do anything like it's looking at what can you do with the energy that you have for that day and every day is going to shift
12:30 so sometimes I like to make plans in the evenings and go okay I I forgot about these things today let me put them on the list so that it makes sure I do them tomorrow but every morning I swear I wake up and I'm like I have no idea how the day is going to go and then it starts to kind of settle in I'm
12:47 like oh okay well we don't have any groceries I forgot about that so that may take up all of my energy for the day and that's about it or you know my son's having a hard time and I need to help support him or all these other life things kind of come in that are unexpected so how can we kind of go okay
13:13 well the focus I had yesterday the what that I wanted to focus on today is just not going to happen and so we do kind of need to surrender to saying that this is my capacity and this is what I have to give and it takes refocusing as well so maybe looming deadline becomes more prominent when I have less
13:37 capacity and saying okay I'm going to focus on that and we're going to let these other things go because that's the most important so I hope this kind of helps reframe load and then balance to focus and then capacity next we're going to go into you know how do you prioritize and look at what you want
14:01 to focus on but that will be another episode so thank you for joining me on the My Senses, My Space podcast.