(Phew, that was easy!)
Oh, but wait. Feeling like life is balanced matters, but not in the way we think it does.
Work Life Balance is massively misunderstood.
Many think it is about one of 3 things:
However, let's look at each one and ask, is that right?
Why not? What if the work I am doing is fulfilling, rewarding and makes me happy and my home life is, well, you know, rubbish?
Less extreme, what if my work is directly contributing to my overall happiness at home and vice versa? They could be operating in perfect mutual harmony.
This quote may help us here:
"There is no such thing as work life balance, it is all life. The balance has to be within you." - Sadhguru
That is not work life balance, that is verging on delusional. 🤣
There may be enough time to do most of what we prioritise in life. But if you are anything like me, the world is way too diverse and wonderful for me to ever imagine I will have enough time to see everywhere on my list.
Stress is not always bad. Sometimes we need to feel stress to get things done, to spur us on when our fears may hold us back, to feel alive!
Feeling balanced is not the opposite of being stressed. Feeling balanced is being able to embrace stress and still thrive.
Work life balance can be achieved if we apply the following three mindset shifts.
Balance is personal
Balance will shape shift over time
Your life can only ever be balanced if it is balanced your way. You are unique. You have your own perspectives, thoughts and aspirations. Therefore, how many hours you choose to apply to various activities in your life is going to be personal.
Sometimes, we may feel like the choice is out of our hands, like when we get a last-minute request from someone. However, the choice is still real. We can choose to turn down the request and accept the consequences. Or we can choose to fulfil the request and face the consequences in other aspects of our lives.
Whatever is happening in your life, recognise the only thing that matters is how you choose to respond.
"Balance is not something you find, it's something you create." - Jana Kingsford
As a 20 year old, my life was balanced very differently to today. I didn't think ahead as much. I didn't always consider the impact of my choices.
When partners and children come along, our world's shift again. New responsibilities , new aspirations, a new balance is struck.
When you get as old as me, balance can mean simply making it through the day without bumping into something!! 🤪
In short, take time to conduct a regular strategic review of how balanced your life feels to you.
I would guess that no-one reading this lives in a vacuum. Our lives are intricately entwined with others. Consequently, the choices we make will have at least an indirect impact on the people around us. Our friends, family and colleagues will have more than a passing interest in how we are choosing to balance our lives.
It is easy for others to make assumptions about our priorities and our plans if we don't tune in, listen and engage with them on this matter.
Sharing what you are trying to achieve in this area may result in two things - (i) you will get some help to achieve what you are trying to do and (ii) the clarity will reduce tension and conflict between you and others.
If you deploy these three shifts, you will find life balance can be achieved more smoothly.
Let me know how you get on in the comments below.
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