3 Reasons We Should Ditch The 'Work-Life Balance'
The word ‘balance’ has never made me feel too good. Partly because I’ve never achieved it and mostly because it doesn’t exist.
If you think about ‘balance’ what comes to mind? The words fragile and unsteady arise when I visualise something ‘balancing’. In order for a balance, weight must be evenly distributed, 50/50.
When we apply this to work and life, we are saying that a work-life balance is 50/50 and when we finally achieve that equal split, we have a ‘balanced life’. Except life and work can never be split in two equal halves because sometimes life overlaps, sometimes work overlaps. That’s just life.
So why should we aim for harmony instead?
1. It allows for more of one thing, less of another.
Think of an orchestra. All of the instruments are playing together. Some a little louder, some there’s only one of, some less frequent than others, yet they are in harmony and create a beautiful sound. This is a lot like life. Think of the different instruments and compare this with aspects of life such as work, family, friends and health.
2. It stops us from forcing life.
The idea of work-life harmony helps us to stop constantly forcing a balance. We might be managing life as well as we possibly can, then in comes the guilt of ‘I spend more time working than I spend with my family’. If no one is complaining, there’s no real need for balance. So just let it all go. Forget balance. See what’s working for you now and if there’s anything you want to change, just do so, guilt free :-)
3. Harmony encourages you to listen to yourself.
As explained above, harmony means you can allow yourself to work a little harder some weeks, then spend more time with yourself the next. It takes away the constant guilt and makes room for your true needs at that present moment.
Try shifting your mindset to this idea and see if you feel differently.
Tip to get you started: start accepting the things that work and acknowledge the things that don’t, then adjust till it feels right.
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