Admit it. The title of this post caught your attention. Life and work….we are all trying to figure it out on a day by day basis. No matter what you call it – work-life balance, the struggle to juggle, walking the work-life tightrope, work-life harmony – it is something that no one really has totally mastered. Sure there are solutions, but clearly there is no one size fits all answer to the work-life issue.
Yesterday, I decided to throw the question out there on Twitter. I asked peeps this:
Do you think work-life balance is even possible?
In a space of about an hour I received a great many responses and wow were they ever varied. Some people thought that work-life balance was a complete and total myth. Others told me that the best way to manage the issue was to learn how to say no. A few peeps said the word balance was misleading; that it was impossible to achieve – ever. One person spoke about looking at life like a wagon wheel, making each spoke a different part. Another person talked about how technology and social media blurred the lines for everything in their world. There was even a discussion about how feasible it was to put smart phones away before sitting down at the table for dinner. Clearly, my question struck a nerve. Every single person who responded to my tweet had thoughts about the work-life issue and how it applied to them.
Here’s what I tell them: work-life balance is a myth. That myth compels many of us to view an ideal life as a set of perfectly level scales. On the tray on one side is your personal life. On the other side is your work life. With heroic efforts, you can keep both trays exactly level. If one starts to tip too far, you make some kind of nifty move that balances them again.
In reality, that perfect balance almost never occurs, except for those rare, fleeting moments when the trays pass each other on the way up or down–and we’re too frazzled to appreciate that brief moment of self-actualization anyway.
So what are your thoughts?
Are you trying to find work-life balance or harmony or whatever works for you? Do you think you will ever achieve it?