Work:Life Balance is Unattainable…Focus on Harmony instead

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The term “work-life balance” is often used to describe the ideal situation in which our professional and personal lives are in sync with each other. The term “work-life balance” is a bit of a misnomer, though. 

It suggests that things are static, but life is a series of changes that happen constantly. There’s no such thing as finding a perfect balance and then maintaining it indefinitely. 

If just one of the parts is in motion, it will throw off the balance. When you consider balance in the context of life, it seems to me that it is impossible. Why is it impossible to find this balance? Is this simply a challenge that no one has ever achieved?

Photo by Joseph Cooper on Unsplash

Many factors can contribute to an imbalance between work and personal life, including long work hours, demanding job responsibilities, and personal commitments. 

Achieving that perfect balance between work and personal life is not possible, and it may not be necessary or even desirable for everyone. 

Instead of trying to achieve a perfect balance, it may be more helpful to focus on finding harmony between different aspects of your life. This can involve finding ways to integrate your work and personal lives in a way that allows you to be satisfied and fulfilled in both. 

For example, you might try to identify and prioritize your values and goals and look for ways to align your work with those values. You might also try to find ways to be more mindful and present in your daily activities, whether at work or at home, which can help you feel more grounded and fulfilled. 

Ultimately, I have found that the key is to find a way of living that works for you and helps you feel satisfied and content with your life overall. Instead of striving for balance, I focus on creating harmony between my work and personal life.

Zion National Park — Photo by Author

Creating harmony between our work and our personal lives can be difficult, but it is achievable. Here are some tips that I have found helpful:

1. Set boundaries.

It is important to set boundaries between your work and personal life. This will help you to avoid burnout and maintain a healthy balance. When you are done with work, you are done with work. 

Don’t check your email on the weekend or while on vacation. Create separation. When I decided to do this for myself 10 years ago, it was the best thing I ever could have done. I do not live to work, I work so that I can truly live.

2. Schedule time for yourself.

Make sure to schedule time for yourself every day. This can be used for anything from reading and relaxing to exercising and spending time with family and friends. Don’t sacrifice your personal time for anything or anyone. If you go down this road, it will be difficult to recover from.

3. Find a hobby.

Having a hobby that you enjoy is critical to your quality of life. It can be something as simple as taking walks in nature or playing a musical instrument. Having something to focus on that isn’t work-related can be a much-needed break from the day-to-day. For me, I have found writing to be not only a hobby but something that I am making a small side income as well.

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

If you are struggling to find harmony, don’t be afraid to ask for help from a friend, family member, or coach. If you’ve never done this before or seen it in action, it might be difficult for you to figure it out on your own. 

Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness but a sign of strength. It shows others that you are in tune with who you are and what you need, and to get to where you want to go, you need them to help you.

5. Be flexible.

Things inevitably come up that throw off our plans. Be flexible and willing to adjust as needed. Mike Tyson once said, 

“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.” 

I say, if you don’t have a plan at all, you will keep getting punched in the face. If you have a plan, it is much easier to adjust and reschedule things. If you just fly by the seat of your pants, you will be tossed back and forth by the change that is all around us.

6. Communicate with your loved ones.

Make sure to keep communication lines open with your loved ones. This will help everyone understand your needs and be connected with you as well. Being able to spend time with those you love will also create more harmony in your life.

7. Set realistic goals.

Don’t try to do too much at once. Set achievable goals that you can work towards gradually. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Giant, massive change never sticks and isn’t at all helpful for your brain. Plan to make incremental gains toward the goals you have, and you will feel much more harmony in the life you are leading and living.

Instead of thinking of work and life as being in opposition to each other, it’s better to think of them as being in harmony with each other. That way, you can be flexible and adapt as life throws curveballs your way. 

These are just a small selection of things you can do to build more harmony in your life. Commit to taking small steps that will help you reach your goals and allow yourself to take breaks when you need them. 

Be easy on yourself when you don’t achieve the level you thought you’d be at, and try not to think of it as a failure. If we allow ourselves to, we can learn something new each day. It can either be something you want to continue doing, something you stop doing, or something you never want to do.

What is one thing you can do today to build more work:life harmony for yourself?

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