Perhaps it’s the spring season or simply people starting to think about summer vacation, but this week I have been in many conversations about how to define Work-Life Balance.
I am on record (if anyone keeps track of this sort of thing) as saying that I don’t think balance between these two aspects of our life really exists. I prefer the term integration to balance. Why?
It is unrealistic to think that you can schedule an equal amount of time for work activities and personal life activities. Life is more fluid than that. Work wants you 150%. Family would like you 150%. Where will you be getting 300% ?!
People change, work changes, and things change over time. What seems like a perfect blend of the activities you are spending your time on today will change tomorrow. Kids grow up and don’t need (want) a parent’s constant involvement. Age can refocus your attention, as can health.
I know from experience that one size does not fit all. What works for me isn’t going to work for you. Everyone has different lives, different goals and different priorities.
That said – if you can focus on what you are doing when you are doing it, you stand a better chance of enjoying what you are doing and achieving your goals in that specific area. And the daily (consistent) attention to finding enjoyment and achievement at work, in your community, with your family and with your friends – can provide you with satisfaction. That, in turn, can create a sense of well being that translates into living an integrated life.
Could it be as simple as that?!
- Focus on what you are doing, where you are.
- Achieve the goal and then reflect on that achievement and enjoy it.
- Celebrate the big things (promotion, weight loss) and the little things (20 minutes of exercise, dinner with out rushing).
- Enjoy what you are doing when you are doing it.
You just might make yourself happy.