Managing the impossible work-life balance
Posted Monday, April 19 2010 at 00:00
As I grabbed for a shampoo in my local grocery store, my eyes rested on the label.
Using words like “gentle,” healthy” and “normal,” this shampoo promised me balance.
Balance must be good, right?
I continued down the aisle, with my promise of balance safely inside the wagon, thinking:
But…what is it? Not literally what is it (“a state of equilibrium”), but when it comes to our lives, our work, our realities — what does balance look and feel like? And, would we know it if it hit us in the face?
From our businesses to our lives to our hair — yes, our hair! — we are working quite hard to find, achieve and harness (in a bottle, even) this elusive balance.
Yet, the most successful people I know, work with, talk to and connect with are actually pretty darn imbalanced. Yes, imbalanced.
As an entrepreneur, your life is your work and your work is your life.
And your work is part of one big, sometimes-messy, generally imbalanced collage whose pieces work most beautifully together.
Here, then, is what you can consider your five-step plan for doing away with the pursuit of balance from your work, from your life and maybe even from your vocabulary:
Stop the madness
Admit it, you spend a lot of time seeking balance or something related to it.
(By “seeking balance,” I mean anything from adjusting your schedule to telling your children to stay out of your home office to desperately wishing for a vacation even to eating healthier and exercising.)
Work with the tide, not against it
Once you lose attachment to perfect balance, you’ll find that you’ve freed up a whole lot of time and energy you can now use for more productive, realistic, satisfying and/or profitable pursuits.