Ah yes, the infamous work-life balance debate. One would think the idea of balance would have a nice feel to it. And yet I fear it breeds more stress than sweet sounds when you hear it.
For so many, especially women, achieving a work-life balance seems to be one of the biggest and most common goals. It comes up amongst my clients all of the time.
And yet, in my humble opinion, we are doing ourselves a disservice when we set out to achieve a perfect work-life balance.
Balance insinuates equilibrium – where both sides, opposing forces, are on an equal plane at all times. Now I don’t know about you, however I think that is an impossible feat to manage all of the time, and so we are simply setting ourselves up for failure.
I hope you will allow me to indulge for a moment and share a few of my opinions on this matter.
Different stages dictate different priorities.
I really agree with the statement “You can have everything, just not all at the same time.” Honour where you are now, and what is most important now. Are you a new Mom? THAT is where your focus needs to be! Single in the city? Embrace the dating scene! Starting up a new business? Yeah, you are going to have some long days ~ so get used to it! No situation is forever – so don’t fight where you are and what is calling your time and energy today.
Stop comparing yourself to others!
There is nothing that is going to make you feel worse than looking at how you balance your work and life as compared to how others do it. So just STOP IT! And if you don’t know how to stop it, and are looking for a laugh, watch this video NOW!
It really comes down to values. For some, career is very important. To others, it’s all about family. And others still, perhaps being a vagabond is where it’s at. And just as our priorities are going to change at different times in our lives, so are our values.
Your definition of work-life balance is going to look different to the person next to you. So get clear on what it means to you, and stop comparing already! Chances are they are looking at you, thinking you’ve got it all figured out anyhow.
Treat every day as a new day… because it is.
What scale are you using to measure work-life balance anyway? It’s hard to look at what it would mean to achieve work-life balance if you’re not even sure how you’re looking at it. Are you hoping to dedicate an equal amount to both sides on a daily basis? Or would you be okay with working hard during the week and playing hard over the weekend? Or putting in a hard month and then rewarding yourself with a holiday?
Your definition of work-life balance is going to depend on where you are in your life, what matters to you most, and how you choose to measure it. Stop attempting to achieve perfect equilibrium – it’s overrated, anyhow! (Click to tweet it out.)
Set yourself up for success; set realistic expectations based on what’s going on in your life right now. Embrace where you are, do the best you can do today, and know that you get another chance at it tomorrow.
Have a FAB week!