November 24, 2016

12-Minute Balance (Revisited)

The 12-Minute Series was originally posted in 2012.

We’ve decided to republish it integrally because we believe it can still help as everyone aspires to make things better.

Let’s hope it stirs up the discussion and stimulates you to change the world 12-Minute at a time!

This article was originally posted on May 12, 2012

Many believe that one of the most important keys to happiness is balance. Sadly, many lives equate to a never ending juggling act struggling in search of that so elusive concept.  

The 12-Minute Approach offers you simple yet powerful ways to achieve that so precious balance in your life.

Let’s hope that, by focusing on rhythm, order and harmony, these 12-Minute Ideas help you strive toward that balance so essential to your happiness and well-being.

Equal Balance between Needs and Activities

In order to stay happy yet still be effective, your life should be equally balanced between your needs and your activities.

Thus, on average, you should devote half of your day (12 hours) to your needs (sleeping, eating, resting, clothing…) and the other half (12 hours again) to your activities (work, study, play…).

If you focus too much on your needs, you probably won’t achieve enough. By opposition, by excessively concentrating on your activities, there’s a good change you won’t be able to keep up in the long-run.

Hence, if your activities take more than half your time, it will be essential for your well-being to transfer some responsibilities to other people. You could either reduce your activities or you could have somebody else take care of some of your basics needs.

But be advised that the second alternative is usually less practical and effective. For example, it’s not even possible to sleep on someone else’s behalf. Furthermore, Life doesn’t seem to like it very much if you try to cheat by abusing the devotion and kindness of others.

To rebalance your schedule, for instance, you could simply work less (reduce an activity). You could also have someone clean your clothes and prepare meals for you (reduce time spend on some needs). But you know by what we just said that we are not suggesting reverting to old ways where essentially «man» worked and «woman» took care of needs of «man».    

Comparing time spent on your needs and activities can be a great way to measure balance in your life.
For proper balance that leads to a happier life, the gap between these two categories should be reduced as much as possible,

Technique to Pace Yourself

As well, the 12-Minute Approach provides technique to pace yourself.

When tasks and goals are concerned, twelve often seems like just the right number. Just the right portion…the right amount of time…the right degree of intensity…the right level of improvement…  

More than 12 is probably too much but less than 12 may not be enough. For instance, you should aim to accomplish an average of 12 significant tasks every day.

«Completing 12 tasks per day» constitutes a great guideline to pace yourself. You can be sure you’ve done your part and are on the right track when you completed 12 meaningful tasks in your day.

The 12-Minute Method also helps you set attainable goals and objectives.

For instance, for most people, losing 12 pounds in 12 weeks is a realistic goal. It’s attainable but significant enough so that when you’ve reached that 12-Minute Goal, you can be certain you deserve a break and some kind of reward.

Achieve More with Less Effort

Staying well balanced also allows you to achieve more with less effort.

The 12-Minute Way is all about being efficient, i.e. accomplishing as much as possible while using as little as possible. Some view it as being lazy. We prefer to view as being intelligent and avoid wasting resources (including your time). We don’t mind working hard, we just mind working all the time.

Because the 12-Minute Approach proposes small gradual changes, it’s almost always possible to achieve considerable improvement without affecting your overall balance too much.

Staying balanced also gives you the means to sustain your efforts. Everyday, step by step, you get things better and better without feeling too much burden.

In addition, the 12-Minute Approach recommends dividing your time using 12-Minute Periods instead of the usual 15-minute ones. This more flexible schedule should enable you to take more breaks, more 12-Minute Breaks.

Hopefully, being more flexible and efficient will translate into better working conditions. We sincerely believe that ultimately, much more can still be accomplished while working much less.  

Ideally, all this could lead to at least one leisure day for every 12 workdays and one vacation week for every 12 weeks of work.

Staying Healthy and Happy

In the long-run, keeping balance between work and play will ensure you stay healthy and happy.

Being efficient and poised reduces stress. Furthermore, doing more with less will valorize you and make you feel even better.

Focusing on the present 12-Minute Period you’re living right now is also a very practical way to live and savour the moment, another beneficial approach to a simpler but more fulfilling life.

So strive to achieve balance in your life and concentrate on what’s really important. It will help you find ways and time to help others and in the end, to make our world a better place.

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