Work/Life “Balance” is a Misnomer

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The work/life balance is an idea that there’s a perfect ratio between “work” (career and ambition) and “lifestyle” (health, pleasure, leisure, family and spiritual development/meditation).  This notion implies that work is bad and life is good.

I’m here to say, ignore that concept!

I am guessing you are:

  • putting in extra hours
  • using you smartphone to be “on call” when you’re not physically in the office
  • working weekends
  • sneak the occasional email check when you’re out with others (and before you know it you’re back into work mode!)

As a result your friends and/or family regularly shoot you that “if you don’t get off your phone now I am going to launch it” look…..

It’s an easy trap to fall into. There is just so much that you need to get done and there just aren’t enough hours in the day.

The result?

Neglecting your health and your family as you spend your time dealing with “emergencies”.

As you can guess I don’t believe in the traditional notion of work/life balance or in being plugged in 24/7 and always being available to your customers.

I’m suggesting thinking about another balance.

The balance between Achievement and Enjoyment.

Chances are, you already have a fairly good grasp on the meaning of Achievement. However the concept of Enjoyment is a little more tricky, you see enjoyment does not just mean  happiness… It means Pride, Satisfaction, Meaning, Purposes, Awareness, Celebration, Love, A Sense of Well Being, in flow…all the principle Joys of Living.

Achievement and Enjoyment are the heads and tails on the coin of value in life. You simply can’t have one without the other. Trying to live a one sided life is why so many “Successful” people are not happy, or not nearly as happy as they thought they would be by becoming successful.

You cannot get full value from life without BOTH Achievement and Enjoyment. Focusing on Achievement and Enjoyment every day in life helps you avoid the “As Soon As Trap”. That’s the life dulling and soul destroying habit of planning on getting around to the joys of life and accomplishment “as soon as”….

So, how do you integrate the other important areas of your life, such as Family, Friends, Self and Work, so you not only remain sane but are able to accomplish everything you want – from a personal and professional perspective.

I recommend that you do work when you believe you can perform the best and do personal activities to break up your day.

1) Have a flexible calendar so that you can schedule things like writing articles, reading, meetings, and research at around the same time each day. This way, it becomes habit and you’re more likely to stick to it.

2) Make a list of your annual goals and break them down by what you need to do each quarter, each month, each week and each day in order to fulfil them.

3) Now in the same Calendar but in a different colours add your personal goal like going to the gym, family goal like taking a vacation and social goals like going out for dinner or catching up etc.  With one quick glance you can see how your life is split up.

If your calendar is lacking the enjoyment colours in the different quadrants of your schedule then you’re not really living then are you?

Ask yourself these 3 things:

When was the last time you achieved AND enjoyed something at work?

What about Achieved AND Enjoyed with your family; your friends?

How recently have you achieved AND enjoyed something just for you?

Forget balance and it’s limiting concepts.  Put your focus on Achieving & Enjoying!


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