Work-Life Balance Vs. Blending

 

We all struggle at life from time to time, often more than we care to admit. We go through times where we feel we are failing at one or more aspects of life. If we succeed at work, we are neglecting family. If we are being great family people, we are finding no time for friends/hobbies. And if we are spending time with friends, we just can’t get in that simple workout we want…

No matter what we try “work-life balance” seems to be just out of reach. That illusive experience. We just haven’t found that perfect 50/50 blend yet. It should be just over the next obstacle.

A recent study by Family Living Today and Now Sourcing uncovered surprising stats about work-life balance across the country.

  • The United States ranks 30th out of 38 countries who have positive work-life balance.
  • More than 11 percent of American workers say they work 50 or more hours a week.
  • 33 percent even find themselves working weekends or holidays too.
  • 57 percent of employees think technology has ruined the definition of a family dinner.
  • 60 percent of employees blame bad bosses for the most negative impact on work-life balance
  • 38 percent of employees have missed life events because of bad work-life balance.

These are sad statistics, primarily because “work-life balance” is a flawed principal from the start for two main reasons. 1.) It is impossible to truly separate life into individual pieces. 2.) To do so immediately puts them in opposition to one another eliminating any possibility of “balance”.

Okay now that I have depressed us, what are we to do with this information? How can we live happier lives in conjunction with these facts rather than in spite of them?

Life Is One Cohesive Unit

The first thing we must understand is that separation, in the first place, is a myth. Let us come to an agreement on this point before moving forward. If you were to get fired from work tomorrow would it affect your personal life? If your spouse fell terminally ill would it affect your professional life? So, can we agree that our personal and professional lives are not separate to start with?

Not only are the aspects of our lives not separate, but it is vital to a healthy existence that we experience a paradigm shift to view life as one large cohesive unit rather than capable of being divided into individual compartments.

When viewed as separate, each compartment will always compete with the others, and you will go through seasons of your life where one takes precedence over the other. How often have you felt like you have started gaining ground in one area of your life just to lose ground in another? This miserable juggling act can continue for a lifetime.

Those aspects you are focusing on become overemphasized causing a stressful level of obsession and focus. The opposite is also true. Those things that you are not focusing on become neglected, nagging, and in the way. Thus, we start moving to minimize or eliminate them. All along, each of the above is truly an important vital aspect of a healthy life.

So, what do we do then?

We need to stop searching for balance. We cannot separate life. We cannot balance it. Every part of your life as it currently exists is vital and important. Keep it all together and start moving the whole forward.

Move The Whole Forward

 

Now, we have one large cohesive unit of life, with each part being vital, and an understanding that we can no longer pick any piece out to be “balanced” separate from the rest. Balance implies staying still, but per the previous section, we are forgetting balance. It’s a fool’s game. From here on it is about taking each choice as it comes and choosing the step that produces forward momentum.

As the choice comes to wake up in the morning and work out or snooze the alarm, to send that report this afternoon or wait for tomorrow, or to drop the dish in the sink or rise and put it in the dishwasher, it will become about making the right decision in each moment.

Each good decision will begin momentum for your entire sphere of life. You will start to realize that each positive choice made affects the overall cohesive unit. Like a snowball, the more positive choices made will begin to gain positive momentum and development.

Each step makes the next easier. It’s easier to keep making positive choices as each additional good decision is made, just like continuing to run is easier once running. As you start moving each decision in a positive direction, you gain awareness. You can now see the choices you run into and how it will affect the overall sphere. Each step will move to another step. If you take the mentality “I know what I should do so I do that” it will move your life forward. As you start moving life forward in this holistic view, each item starts moving forward in it collectively … work, family, friends, hobbies.  

Conclusion

We are no longer focusing on balance because we are moving forward. This allows us to focus on progress. It does not matter what step we take. What matters is that we take a step. Pick one thing in your life and move it forward. Get up and work out. Send that report. Put the dish in the dishwasher. That will create positive momentum for you. Once you have the momentum you will no longer focus on the balance you will focus on your progress. TAKE ONE STEP FORWARD TODAY.

Action Steps

  1. Realize that life can not be separated. Every aspect of your life is connected, affects the rest, and is vital to making up a healthy lifestyle.
  2. Stop any process of trying to “balance” life and work or balancing any multiple aspects of life. Focus on making the right decisions daily and moving your entire sphere forward.
  3. Start taking that one positive step today. Take them one at a time and before you know it you will be moving your life in a positive direction with an unstoppable momentum.

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