March 18, 2021

What Is Work/Life Balance, Anyway?

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Let’s abolish the phrase work/life balance. 

I am not advocating that we don’t need personal time away from work but that they aren’t genuinely separate things. (Sorry for the double/triple negative!)

Let me explain. 

Work/life balance seems to imply that your work and your life are separate entities – and maybe they are. But should they be? If you have a full-time job, you will spend 90,000 hours at work in your lifetime. That amounts to something like 1/3 of your life. If you factor in commute time, overtime, and other variables, it extends up to 50%. Fifty percent!

Anything that consumes that much of your time is just part of life. You will spend 227,760 hours sleeping, but we don’t discuss sleep/life balance. Work is a reality of life, just like sleep is. 

I have two questions for you:

Do you enjoy your work? 

If you reimagine work as not a separate entity to life but a crucial part of it, what career move would you make? What is stopping you from doing that?

Let’s rethink the idea of work/life balance as living a balanced life.

Life is not just work, then live, then work again. Life is the collection of moments that include work, care, marriage, family, sleep, cleaning, vacation, etc. You get the idea. It is bigger and more complete than these two compartments. 

What do you need to do to create a balanced life?

A balanced life isn’t merely drawing boundaries between work and everything else – it is creating a healthy rhythm of output and recharging in all areas. Balance is never letting the scale tip to exhaustion, nor is it resting to the point of complacency.

Commit yourself to rethink work/life balance and create a balanced life. 

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