The term work/life balance has been a popular topic of conversation for some time, with lots of professionals sharing their tips and tricks on their journeys to somehow create the elusive concept for themselves.
We call bullshit.
It doesn’t exist. And trying to achieve it is a distraction from other things that can actually make your life better. You shouldn’t feel guilty that you can’t make the impossible happen, that’s no way to go through life.
This may not be the most uplifting way to tackle something that seems really important, so forgive us, but around here we really like honesty and we are lukewarm at best when it comes to clichés.
What is often not taken into account when talking about work/life balance is how much change occurs in our lives, every day. Also, there is so much more to it than simply time one spends at work vs. everything else in life.
So, enough with the unattainable hyperbole! Instead of unrealistic and undefinable “balance”, we are focusing on the following more do-able activities:
Set Realistic Goals
Recently at a team meeting, we spent some time sharing what we individually gain energy from – activities, people, etc. – and then we talked about simple changes we could make to allow for more of these important things. Inevitably, we found ourselves saying the same benign BS that is totally not realistic; we shared grand, impossible changes, at first. Then, we dialed it back and challenged each other to identify things that are possible in each of our real realities.
Find an Accountabil-a-buddy
You might have noticed that we had our “what energizes you” conversation as a team, and that was no accident. One of our core values is “we work harder than the rest”, which means you might find us in the office after hours or in early to make sure we are crushing it for our clients – and we wouldn’t have it any other way. We also know that happy team members do great work, and we need to make time for other things. By sharing as a team where we find positive energy, we each now have a whole group of people who can hold us accountable as we find more time to energize and do the things we love.
Give Yourself Grace
Life is way too short to fixate on a mythical pie chart of how your time should be spent. Give yourself permission to live your life in a way that makes you happy: say no when you need to, advocate for yourself when you need to, and be nice to yourself. Every day is an opportunity for a fresh start to feel great about the time you need to spend on work and the time that you need to spend with others, or in precious solitude.