Four Burners

June 13, 2016

When looking for blogs as inspiration, I came across, which is a blog about productivity and instilling good habits. It has a lot of good tips that are worth checking out, but I thought I'd talk about a recent topic I received from his mailing list - the Four Burners Theory.

From his website:

Imagine that your life is represented by a stove with four burners on it. Each burner symbolizes one major quadrant of your life.

1. The first burner represents your family.

2. The second burner is your friends.
3. The third burner is your health.
4. The fourth burner is your work.

The Four Burners Theory says that “in order to be successful you have to cut off one of your burners. And in order to be really successful you have to cut off two.”
He goes on to describe three ways to attempt to "bypass" the Four Burners Theory (read his entire blog post here) and I think my module of doing things has mostly fallen into the third category, having seasons in your life where you focus on different burners in each season.

In my early years of being an adult I began working and building my career skills set and had a close group of friends. I moved out of my parent's house so the family burner was put on low, and I was young enough to be able to afford to ignore my health.  
Family: dim glimmer;  Friends: high heat; Health: off; Work: high heat
After I got married and had a family of my own I found it nearly impossible to have a job on top of that, so the work burner was snuffed out, the friends burner was pretty near extinguished, and I had no time for my health. All three of those burners have been off or weakly flickering on and off for the past decade. 
Familyrolling boil;  Friends: very dim glimmer; Health: off; Work: off
Only after I turned 30 have I been able to face those other three burners and experiment turning the heat up on them a little bit. I have been studying to become a yoga teacher and doing more yoga, I started blogging, I have become more involved assisting and helping teach meditation classes, and I have been forced to address my health. 
Familysteady boil;  Friends: off; Health: turning the heat on; Work: warming up on very low

What burners do you have going right now?

Have you sacrificed any areas of your life to succeed in others? and if so, do you regret doing so? 

Do you hope to one day be able to turn the heat up on a neglected burner in your life?

Let me know in the comments.

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