Getting real about trying to do it all: identifying and balancing our buckets

Last week was a big transition week for family Matthews – Owain’s six month parental leave finished, I started a new job and Huw officially started daycare after his transition program.

During the few weeks leading up to this there were some big decisions for me and I was back to my decision making compass. There was a lot going on with family commitments, social gatherings, Owain’s Ironman in NZ, my tri training, volunteering for the International Coach Federation (ICF) and LaunchPad Media business activities.

I was reminded of a thought from one of my early blogs – “You can have it all…. in the long term”.

In this post (interestingly my most viewed ever blog) I reflected ‘Can you be an exceptional parent, business leader, athlete, volunteer, friend, entrepreneur..…….?’ I said yes…. but not all at the same time.

With a lot going on, it was time to pause, reflect and review the landscape. After a conversation with a valued mentor, I drew a priority map of all the things in my world and then ranked them in priority order.

For this next phase in our journey, I reflected my priorities and key focus areas are Owain and the boys, my family and friends, work and financial stability and health and well-being.

For my activity to reflect this, I had to make a couple of big decisions and decided to stand down from the ICF NSW Branch leadership team and put my LaunchPad Media business on hold to take a great job opportunity with Gartner and build more financial stability in light of increased daycare costs.

Stepping down from the ICF NSW Branch leadership team was hard as I really believe in the purpose of helping the coaching industry thrive and the people on the team. As a natural maximiser and activator, stepping away goes against my nature but I realised the importance of foresight before having too much on and being overstretched.

Reflecting on this with my aunty was very useful who shared she has four clear buckets of health, work, family / friends and charity work. For her, all of these buckets are non-negotiable and need to have a good level in and she can feel it if one goes really out of balance. Her mantra for this year is simplify and if something doesn’t align to her buckets it’s easy to say no.

This made me reflect that my buckets for now are Owain and the boys, family and friends, work, triathlon and self care (and maybe a chilled one for prosecco?!).

I thought I’d share this thought which may help others prioritise and make key decisions. I’ve discovered change is constant and it’s good to be able to adapt and re-prioritise regularly.

What are your buckets and are they in balance? Is there an overflowing one or leaky one that need some attention?

For those interested in this area, I found Megan Dalla-Camina’s “Getting real about having it all” an insightful book which reflects on asking what this big question meant to her and sharing practical steps to achieve this.

Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead.


4 Comments on “Getting real about trying to do it all: identifying and balancing our buckets”

  1. Ahhhh. You always hit the nail on the head Dani! I too had to recently let one of my commitments go and while the bucket is still too full, and with a few holes to boot, the rate it is leaking has slowed. An EnergyLink Coach once said to me “Control the Controlables” and while this was in reference to a race … this too is true in life! Good luck with the new job!

    • Thanks for the good luck and sharing your reflection Del, love the ‘Control the Controlables’ race mantra which agree is true in life. Glad to hear one of your leaky buckets has slowed and wish you all the best with it.

  2. Pingback: You can change your mind and your actions at any time | Dani Matthews

  3. Pingback: How are you managing your energy? | Dani Matthews

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