Why Work-Life Balance is a Lie
Have you ever stopped to examine what it really means to live a balanced life? Think about it – we say that we would like “work-life balance”, but how much thought have we put into what this really means?
Like many of you who are reading this right now, I too was searching for that balanced life. Every direction that I turned was some mantra being preached, telling me to seek more balance. What was worse was the fact that my so-called “unbalanced life” seemed to be supported by the 60+ hour work weeks, the many late nights, the lack of social interaction, and the little to no physical activity. The list goes on!
You may be thinking at this point that I was indeed living an unbalanced life and my only salvation was to live a life of balance, but I can say with confidence that you are wrong.
The Impossibility of Work-Life Balance
The word ‘balance’ by definition means a state of equilibrium or equipoise. In other words, to be balanced is to be placed between two positions with the thought that one position is more desirable than the other. Imagine yourself standing on a board that is pivoting on a rock and all that you can do is stand in the middle to keep from swaying to either side. Does this seem exciting?
Is it even possible for you to achieve absolute balance? Even the definition of the word ‘balance’ seems to say otherwise. I believe that we can agree that we were not created to live a life of absolute balance. Still not convinced? Let’s look at the concept of time.
We all are blessed with having 24 hours each and every day. We can do whatever we choose to do with these 24 hours. This means that allocating our time to any one thing throughout the day is time that is taken away from another thing. This makes balance impossible. So, now what?
First, let’s agree that anything of great significance has to come about by some extreme measure. What do I mean by this? Put more time, energy and focus into one single cause and you increase the probability that something of great significance can be achieved. It’s also at these extremes, just like being in the middle, that we can feel as though our lives are spiraling out of control and the only way to slow things down is to shift.
So if nothing of great significance is achieved by standing still in the middle and chaos is found on the boundaries of life’s extremes, then the best thing that we can do is to learn the act of counterbalance.
Counterbalance, by definition, is to act against or oppose with an equal weight, force or influence. Meaning, to achieve extraordinary results in your life you must choose what matters the most. You must allocate and dedicate the required time to your top priority while being aware of the other areas in your life.
It’s this awareness of self which will allow you, at any time, to quickly shift your focus and re-allocate your time to the area that is in need. It’s this ability to counterbalance and prioritize our time that we all seek—not a state of balance.
Today marks the day that you stop trying to live the work-life balance lie. Today is the day that you take a moment to prioritize your life by allocating the time that you’ve been given to each area that requires your attention.
If there is one thing that I encourage you to seek and find it's your purpose in life. To live with purpose is to live governed by priority whereby you gracefully and skillfully dance the counterbalance dance.
The Tyrone Matheson Group has experience making the complexity of business simple.