Work-Life Balance. Does It Exist?
I do not categorically believe in compartmentalizing my life. So, to start with I’m just going to say work-life balance is a myth. It doesn’t exist, I do not even believe there is such a thing as balancing your work with other aspects of your life, because in reality, you really don’t have that many lives, the summation of all of your experiences is your life.
When something is talked about so much, it has a systemic way of creeping into reality. That is what happened to the topic of work-life balance, just look at this;
I am also a part of the above statistics😂🤣 and I am fully aware that my experiences validates my truths and your experiences validate your truths because they are pivotal to how you interact with the world now.
I have met people who seem to have a firm control of their work life and do not allow it affect their secular engagements on bit and vice versa. She closes from work at 4 PM and is very strict about not taking work home. She doesn’t attend to work calls, emails, notifications etc. after 4 PM till it’s time to prepare for the next work day and her colleagues have all come to respect that.
There are obviously some exceptions to how she does her things. 😁
But, I am not like her and you also might not be like that also. Like me, you still work over time and some times even into the night just to clear your table, and the next day isn’t any lenient.
You check work emails over dinner, you reply emails at 3 AM in the morning, slack notifications gets you anxious every time even at a supposed cool-off outing with friends/family.
You can’t draw the line and it’s eating away at you because you feel you’re not as productive as you need to be and you’re also not spending enough time off work to ease the tension. Oh, and one more thing, you feel you’re not also doing enough to grow personally and improve the quality of work you do😬, if this is you, then you’re not alone.
I sent out an email to the Wentors community a few days back on this work-life balance thingy and I felt a huge sense of relief to know I wasn’t the only one who feels this way sometimes and we are all working to make sure we improve the quality of work we do and still have time to catch up on life. I got some really exciting replies. Here check them out, you might find something that works for you.
I support the perspective of work-life integration. A component of the bigger system. If work should be excluded from your day-to-day activities, there should still be a number of things left that you engage in.
Chigozie here is follows her planner religiously. If you’re this disciplined then I think using planners might be your go-to option.
A lot more replies came in but Mary’s reply (below) was one I could relate with very intimately and this is because of point number 5😂😂
What do I think?
It might take a while to get it right and what works for A might not apply to B. And sometimes, a mix of strategies might just be what you need.
Self awareness is a big step towards discovering what works for you. Take out time to document your day and see what eats away at your time mostly, find out why and how you can work around it and most importantly develop a system that helps you give optimal attention to every aspect of your life.
“You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.”
Thinking about it now, I should have begun with this point.