Today I’m talking about how to rightsize your life and the top 5 concepts to look at when you start this process. Now, rightsizing is different from downsizing. Downsizing means exactly what you think. When you downsize you reduce the size of your house and naturally what it contains. When you rightsize you might be moving to a smaller or larger house depending on your lifestyle or the needs of your family.
To rightsize your life, you look at the various aspects of your life that take up space. Are you giving enough time and attention to them? Are you devoting too much time to one segment of your life and not enough to another? Which of these parts of your life bring you happiness and fulfillment?
These are great questions to ask yourself. You may come up with different topics than those I mention here but use these basic questions to figure out what is important to you so that you can live your best life.
Start by imagining that every morning you’re given a bucket full of water. This bucket represents your time and attention. Your job is to give a little water to each aspect of your life to make it flourish. How much water you give each one is up to you.
Think about how many different aspects require your time and attention. Are you neglecting some in favor of others? Is it OK to put some on the backburner while you give more time and attention to others?
Here are 5 concepts to consider as you rightsize your life:
As you go through this process of rightsizing your life, ask yourself how much is enough?
How much time is enough each day to spend working?
How much time do you spend with your family? Is it enough?
How much time do you want to give to your volunteer commitments (each day, week or month)?
These are tough questions. Some of them require that you define your boundaries. When you know how much enough is for you, you can answer these questions.
Keep in mind that your answers will change as your lifestyle and circumstances change.
Rightsize your boundaries to create more definition between the various parts of your life. These may include your work and home life, relationships, and volunteer commitments to name a few. In doing so you create a better balance in your life.
Understand that these boundaries may shift as circumstances change.
Rightsize your life by thinking about the boundaries you have created.
Use routines to add structure to your day. Make sure your daily routine includes plenty of fresh air and exercise, a healthy diet, plenty of sleep, and time for yourself. Wow! I know that sounds like lots of extra things to put into your day. Considering that you also need time for work and for your family. But when you rightsize your life you plan your day to incorporate these things.
You can get exercise by walking up the stairs instead of taking the elevator. Or if you have dogs, like I do, planning your day to include a couple of nice walks with your dogs is healthy exercise outside. A win-win for the dogs and you.
Think about taking virtual exercise or yoga classes. There are lots from which to choose online.
It’s important to know that your routine can vary from day to day.
Your mind and body need sleep. We all know this to be true. How much sleep? I like lots of sleep and plan my time most days so that I get it. Honor yourself and rightsize your life by making sure you get enough sleep for you.
Schedule Your Time
None of this will happen for you without a schedule. Plan your day by using a schedule. Some people think that having a schedule means that you eliminate the ability to be spontaneous. This is not true. It’s easier to be flexible when you are more aware of how you are using your time.
Remember to allow time for work, family, and hobbies.
Do you volunteer in your community? Add those times to your schedule.
If you work outside your home remember to factor in travel time.
What about you? How much water from the bucket will you give to taking care of yourself? All the things I mentioned are important but none as important as making sure you pay attention to your own needs.
Paying attention to these 5 concepts will enable you to rightsize your life. There will be times when life is rolling along and then you hit a bump in the road. When you have a grasp of these key concepts you can shift gears and pay more attention to the aspect of your life that needs you, rightsizing your life in the moment.
Diane N. Quintana is a Certified Professional Organizer®, Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization®, Master Trainer and owner of DNQ Solutions, LLC based in Atlanta, Georgia. Diane teaches busy people how to become organized and provides them with strategies and solutions for maintaining order in their lives. She specializes in residential and home-office organizing and in working with people affected by ADD, Hoarding, and chronic disorganization.
Figuring out enough isn’t easy! Now that I am older and my life is more stable, I have a much better idea of how much time is enough to accomplish a task, how much food is enough for the party, and how much space is enough to live the way I find desirable. That said, when my kids were growing, I always felt behind the eight ball, and there seemed to be endless need for new and more. I think this definition may shift over time!
Isn’t that the truth! I completely agree that how a person defines enough will shift as their needs change.
The love the context you use with rightsizing your life. Most often, I think of that term concerning house size. But you’ve expanded the idea to include so much more. I especially love the point you make about figuring out what “enough” means. Even more importantly, you mention how changing circumstances will influence how you define enough. I remember when we raised our daughters, it was hard to find time for self-care. My priorities were spending time with the family and building an organizing business. But as they grew and became more independent, there were more opportunities to shift. I found more time to volunteer and to take care of myself. It’s not that I completely ignored my needs when the kids were little, but “enough” looked different than it does now.
Thank you very much, Linda. It’s so important to recognize that what is enough today may be either too much or too little as someone moves forward in their life. Allowing ourselves to change that definition gives us permission to rightsize our lives.
I love this concept of right-sizing your life. My husband and I have been thinking about what we want to do in the future since our kids are in college. No plans yet. Though, over the last several months, we have been more active than ever before, walking the dog, doing yard work, doing yoga, and doing small repairs in the home. All have helped us keep busy and mobile.
Thank you, Sabrina. It’s something to think about for sure!
Great term to use! I’ve heard it before and think it’s a great reminder for clients (and myself.) I have two little girls, 2 yr old and 5 month old, run my own business, and my husband works full time while in law school. We are totally crazy, hahaha. If we didn’t have a solid schedule we wouldn’t survive. The two things that I MUST prioritize for myself are exercise and sleep. I need stamina and stability to make it through the day. Your simple suggestions for exercise are so great and people should take note! Simple is enough, and enough is best.
Melanie, you certainly have your hands full! You are exactly right – simple is best. Happy to hear you will prioritize sleep and exercise for yourself. Check out the Pelaton app for your phone. They have a wide variety of classes and some are only 10 minutes long.
This is excellent advice. So often we overlook the things that will actually make us more productive, more energetic, and more joyful, and the result is that we’re constantly running on empty – or close to it.
Thank you Sheri. It’s important to know what fulfills us so we can take care of those we love.
This is all great information. I think everyone needs to rethink what they are focusing on every once in awhile and to create new routines and set new boundaries.
Thank you, Janet!
Your analogy of a bucket full of water for each day really brought the concept home for me. Such a vivid picture of all the water pouring over one area of life – nice for that area, although perhaps even then, a little much. But the other areas are parched! Your image is such an effective way to help me rightsize my day – what’s getting overwatered, what could use some attention? It’s an image I can pull up throughout the day to help me reset. Thank you!
Oh my goodness, Lucy! Thank you so much for that! I love that using the bucket of water really brought this concept home for you.
This makes so much sense. Right sizing is
an ideal term. What was right for us at a one time in our lives may not be right for us now.
Everything changes, right? Nothing stays the same. Figuring out what is next, including self-care and boundaries and timing is necessary.
I love this post!
Thank you, Ronni. It’s so important to allow ourselves time to take stock (or inventory) of what’s working and what’s not periodically. For me, it makes sense to do this once a year, maybe twice. For someone else, it might make sense every few months. As you say, everything changes. We have to give ourselves the grace to change too.