Understanding Work-Life Balance: 3 Myths
The term, work/life balance, is incredibly misleading. It sounds so simple. After all, there are only two things to balance. How hard can that be? But from experience, we know there has to be more to it because it’s not easy. Here are three myths that this phrase implies. Understanding these myths has been incredibly helpful for me in my efforts towards finding life balance, so I wanted to share.
Myth 1: Once we know the secret recipe, we’ll have work/life balance mastered. It’s a “thing” we need to figure out, and once we do, we’re set. Life is good.
In reality, this balance is not a noun, but an action requiring constant adjustment depending on what’s happening in our lives at that moment. It’s not something we figure out once because life situations and demands on our time are continually changing
Myth 2: It’s all about balancing our time. We just need to figure out how to spend the right amount of time focused on work and the right amount of time focused on life.
The truth is that to achieve our highest quality life, we need to balance more than just our time. We also need to consider how to balance our energy, including our physical, mental, and emotional energy. Words that come to mind include effort, attention, and mood. It’s not just what’ we’re doing, but how we’re being (engaged, attentive, enthused, patient, etc.)
Myth 3: There are only two things we need to balance; work and life.
Wouldn’t that be nice!! But as we all know, life is a word that encompasses many things. A few are family, financial, social, health, community, spiritual, etc. Each part of our life fluctuates in its needs so the amount of time and energy required to keep it at its best changes, too.
My goal in sharing these myths is not to overwhelm you but to hopefully shed some light on why so many of us struggle with work/life balance and how we need to change our approach.
Next week’s tip will dig into how we can use these concepts to get a better handle on the art of positively balancing our lives.
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Tina Hallis, Ph.D. is Chief Positivity Officer of The Positive Edge, a company dedicated to helping people and organizations increase their positivity to improve the quality of people’s work lives and the quality of company cultures. She is certified in Positive Psychology, an authorized partner for Everything DiSC®, and a Professional Member of the National Speaker’s Association