Friday, November 13, 2009

Creating an Echo Map : balancing your life on paper

As I have mentioned, we are in the process of becoming foster parents (thus the decrease in blog posts). In our most recent class we did an activity which would be helpful for anyone. It was called an Echo map. An echo map is a graphic representation of how you spend your time and the rewards or costs of that time. It basically looks like this:

In the center write your own name. Then on each of the outside bubbles write people, places, or things that take up your time / you are responsible for. After that connect each smaller bubble to the mane bubble using a line.

  • A solid line represents that this activity / person replenishes you and is a positive part of your life.
  • A dotted line represents that this activity / person is neutral and neither taxes nor benefits you but has to be dealt with.
  • A fuzzy line represents that this activity / person is stressful and depletes your energy.

Yes, you may have activities or people that are connected with more than one type of line. When you are done, look at your map. You may be surprised by what you see. Seeing your life graphically represented may cause you to make some changes. Are there more solid lines or more fuzzy lines? Are there any solid lines? If you compared these connections with the time spent on them is your time dedicated to the most productive, rewarding things?

If you try this activity, let us know about your epiphanies. Did you decide to make any changes?

P.S. It is tough when you do this activity next to your spouse and he puts a solid line to your name but you put all three lines to his circle - - -ooops! It may be better to do this in private.

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