We have some questions about work – life balance. It sounds so nice at first. But when you really think about it, what exactly does it mean?
Let’s start with the phrase itself. Work – life balance. It implies that work isn’t a part of life, doesn’t it?
So is work death?
And how do you figure out this whole balance thing. It seems like you would have to tightly define work and life.
So what is work?
For example, does work mean the time you spend making money? If so, a stay-at-home mom or dad doesn’t work! Yet we all know how hard their job can be.
What about other unpaid work? Are the chores you do at home part of work or part of life?
Here’s another scenario: Imagine you want to go on a once-in-a-lifetime trip. So you take a temporary part-time job to pay for that trip. Is that work or is it part of life since you’re really only taking on the part-time endeavor to pay for something fun?
What if you turn your hobby into a part-time business? You think it’s great; instead of having to pay to do something you enjoy, you get paid to do it. Is that work or life?
Would it make any difference if that part-time business turned into a full-time opportunity? Would you be working at all or would your whole life just be … well, life.
And what is life?
Assuming you work in an office, do you consider the time you spend commuting work or life? Let’s assume that you consider it work. What if you choose to live some distance away from work? That’s definitely a life choice. So is the extra time counted as life or is it still work?
Does sleep count as life? It’s essential for life, but how productive are you at work after a sleepless night?
Even if you don’t get the sleep that’s recommended, it’s still a significant chunk of your day. So when you think about balance, do you just exclude sleep altogether?
What is balance?
Doesn’t balance imply an equal split between work and life? Is that what work – life balance really means? Are you supposed to spend half your time living and half dying (if work is death)?
If it’s not a 50 / 50 split, how can we call it balance? How many people ever achieve an even share of each? Is that even desirable?
Okay, we hear it … you want to know our point. Well, we have three of them:
No lines in the sand
The first one is that work – life balance is not only an outdated concept, we’re not sure it was a great concept in the first place!
Bigg goal-getters don’t draw a line in the sand. Work and life are integrated. They always have been. They always should be.
Work is a part of life. Life is a part of work. It’s best to accept that reality and find ways to make them work (or live) seamlessly together.
It’s a custom blend
Bigg success is life on your own terms. You decide the right mix of personal and professional. It’s your custom blend.
If you’re perfectly happy spending eighty percent of your time on personal activities, have at it. If you love your work and want to spend eighty percent of your time doing it, more power to you.
We’ll just share one caveat about working too much. Research has shown that experts can get too close to their subject and lose some of their creativity. You may not be well-rounded, but at least be a little rounded!
We’re preaching to ourselves in that last paragraph … we needed the reminder!
Look for synergy
Finally, don’t think zero-sum. Don’t accept that there has to be tradeoffs. Work doesn’t have to end so life can begin and vice versa.
If you think there has to tradeoffs, then you’re right. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. However, if you think it’s possible (better yet, probable) that you can find a solution that doesn’t require a trade-off, you’ll be more likely to try one.
That’s the bigg idea behind bigg success. There is synergy in the world. Strive to find ways to get your personal and professional lives working for each other instead of against each other. That’s bigg success!
What works for you?
We’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below, call us at 888.455.BIGG (2444) or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Thanks so much for reading our little rant today.
Please join us next time when we begin a series of five posts on freedom. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!
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(Image in today's post by svilen001)