The Life Hot Spots Framework: 7 Categories for Balancing Your Life



You can apply Hot Spots to life.

Hot Spots are the categories I use for skilled living.

This is the big picture.  It’s how I chunk up my overall time and energy.

There are certain areas in life that if I invest in, I get rewarded.  On the other hand, if I ignore these categories, I get penalized.

7 Categories for Life

Here’s the starter set of categories I use for thinking about the areas in my life that need focus and energy:

Hot Spot Description
Mind The Mind bucket includes investing time to learn thinking techniques and keeping my mind sharp.
Body The Body bucket includes investing time to keep my body in shape. It includes learning patterns and practices for health. The most important basics are eating, sleeping, and working out.
Emotions The Emotions bucket includes investing time to keep my emotions healthy. It includes learning emotional intelligence and keeping my emotions in check. It’s about learning skills for feeling good.
Career Career includes activities and projects for my job and my professional services.
Finance includes investing time to learn patterns and practices for building and sustaining wealth.
Relationships The Relationships bucket includes relationships at home, work, and life.
Fun Fun includes investing time to for play and doing whatever I enjoy.


Setting Boundaries

I set minimums and maximums for my hot spots in terms of time and energy.  This keeps me from getting over-invested.  I use my hot spots to set boundaries.  For example, I set a max on career and a min on relationships, body, and fun.

Hot Spot Boundaries (minimums and maximums)
Body Min of 3 hrs.
Career Max of 50 hrs.
Relationships Min of 8 hrs.
Fun Min of 3 hrs.


So step one was deciding to spend no more than 50 hours each week on my career hot spot.  That forced me to bite off only what I could chew.  That’s how I started improving plate management and pushing back effectively.  I can only spread my life force over so much.  The categories help support each other.  They can also work against each other.

Tickler List of Things to Think About in Each Hot Spot

Here are some simple prompts to help you think of Hot Spots in your life.   The list is not complete or exhaustive and it’s not meant to be.  You may want to add some other Hot Spots for your life, such as spiritual or social.

The key is to have a simple heat map of what’s important for you.  It’s a high level way to remind you to spread your life force across your meaningful buckets.  It’s a way to more thoughtfully invest in yourself.

Hot Spot Examples
  • Dental
  • Eating (Nutrition)
  • Exercise (Sports, weightlifting, Pilates, yoga, martial arts … etc.)
  • Health/ Medical (Disease, prevention, medicine, illness, hereditary or acquired diseases … etc.)
  • Senses (Auditory, gustatory, kinesthetic, olfactory, and visual)
  • Sleeping
  • Stress
  • Systems (Cardiovascular, digestive, endocrine, excretory, immune, skin, muscular, nervous, reproductive, respiratory, skeletal)
  • Activities
  • Deliverables
  • Development
  • Expectations
  • Outcomes
  • Projects
  • Relationships
  • Roles
  • Tasks
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Feeling Good (Dealing with depression, loss, … etc.)
  • Emotions (Acceptance, anger, anticipation, disgust, fear, joy, sadness, surprise)
  • Empathy
  • Passion
  • Active Income
  • Budget
  • Business
  • Credit
  • Insurance
  • Investment
  • Nest Egg
  • Passive Income
  • Retirement
  • Real Estate
  • Savings
  • Spending
  • Taxes
  • Free-time
  • Hobbies / Interests
  • Indoor recreation
  • Outdoor recreation
  • Travel
  • Vacations
  • Anxiety
  • Clarity
  • Creativity
  • Critical Thinking
  • Learning
  • Mental Models
  • Optimism
  • Vision
  • Family
  • Work
  • Other


If you’re not getting the results you want, explore how you’re investing in Hot Spots.

Maybe with a few tweaks of where you spend your time and energy is just the trick you need.


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