Kill The Work/Life Fantasy
Oprah said in an interview with Dr. Oz in her December issue of O, she believes it’s important to make a conscious decision to create balance in your life—but she’s not doing it. She even said she’s not making any more resolutions until she creates more balance for herself—and Dr. Oz says something like, “Well when you figure it out, let me know, because I don’t know how to do it either.
Pretty profound coming from one of the most successful women in the world. That hangs the question, ‘If Oprah doesn’t know how to create a work/life balance, then how am I suppose to?’
The “Work/Life Balance” theory is crap.
It is crap! I feel “Balance” is the wrong word. Other terms have been suggested: work-life integration, work-life harmony, and work-life blend. These suggestions still don’t hit the mark. Besides using the word “balance”, how about using the word intention? One definition of Intention is, the action or fact of intending. Work/Life Intention. The idea of balance is an unattainable standard that results in an almost constant feeling of failure, stress, overwhelm, frustration, anger... I could go on.
You Can Just Choose Because It Gives You An Escape Route.
When you stop at choosing you give yourself a way out. From jump you always have a choice and you’re choosing between certain things. You’re choosing where you are going to put your energy and focus. We choose as human beings where we place our focus. Own the choice you made and hold yourself accountable. If you are worried about how you are going to feel or what people think you, then your choices will never be right.
Shut The Door When You Decide.
Deciding is where the juiciness is. Really! You’ve shut the back door on the choice you didn’t make. You haven’t another option and you are ready to run with it. If you decided to work, then you now can work your ass off without the guilt. Deciding gives you the feeling of empowerment that you need so you don't feel guilty. You can now dump all your focus and energy into that decision and smash out results. Going into action mode and yet thinking about the choice you didn’t make will only create negative energy and resentment. Plus, your result will be crap.
Understand Your Decision.
It would make your life so much easier if you would stop thinking of trying to achieve balance. The only thing you are doing is stressing yourself out. You’re making yourself mentally and physically tired and worried about if you made the right decision. Understand you made your decision based on the variables in front of you, how you felt in that moment and concluded what was the best thing to put your energy into. Again, in that present moment. Simple. What is it that you should feel bad about? When you come to an understanding, without ego, the decision you made was the “best” for you at that time it will bring a calmness to you.
It looks different for everyone and it takes time to get “right.”
We all have different careers, commitments, families, bodies, priorities and goals and it will take time to figure out. To get started, here are two things to consider.
No matter what you’re trying to do with your life -- whether it’s start a small business, take an art class, learn a new skill, or spend more meaningful time with your family -- time management is the foundation of seeing your intentions come to life. Without setting aside time to address the things you feel are lacking in your life, it will be hard to make progress.
Set expectations and communicate.
As best we can, we want to surround ourselves with people who celebrate the journey that we’re on.” Be vocal about your intentions at home and at work, and set new expectations if you’ve been doing too much (like working from home after hours.)
Give Yourself The Space For Compassion.
It as a constant ebb and flow instead of something we work towards and then suddenly achieve and then everything is perfect. Show yourself compassion because you will never find the balance. Some days you will decide to work but your mind will be on family, friends…Netflix. And then some times just the opposite. There will be time things feel out of control and that is okay. Steve Jobs never found balance. His personal relationships suffered. Elon Musk in 2018 was working 120 hours a week and sometime taking Ambien to sleep. There will be times things feel out of control and that’s okay. It will pass, and you’ll have infinite more opportunities to try again.
The theory of work-life balance is enticing, but it doesn’t leave room for life to happen. Life is full of unexpected twists and turns and the idea that you can balance everything at once is unrealistic. By holding ourselves to a greater standard of setting an intention, making it known, and giving ourselves grace when things don’t go as we planned, we set ourselves up for a more meaningful life.