Thursday, November 17th, 2016
The notion of work-life balance is artificial at best, and at worst, it’s a false way of describing a very serious problem that exists in our workplaces.
Work is part of life — no work, no money, and no money, no food or roof to live under or (insert other necessity of survival here). Work is part of who we are and what we do. We spend more time working than we do any other activity in our life except sleeping. Work and life aren’t separate; they never have been.
Work-life balance assumes that the work part of our day is burden, and the life part is where we get our joy and fulfillment. Life is where the stuff that matters happens. And when we talk about someone being out of balance, about 100 percent of the time that means that they are working too much and that there is too much burden, not enough joy.
The most basic and most important truth about work is that it doesn’t have to suck. People who love what they do and are good at it, don’t talk about work-life balance because it doesn’t make any sense to them. They don’t need this artificial sense of balance because work feels good and natural to them.
The most out of balance in your career happens when your work isn’t aligned with your values, regardless of how many hours you are working. Your life is more “in balance” when you are doing what you love and pursuing a dream.
When we start treating work as if it’s part of life, and not a hiatus from it, we will unleash some real magic.
Summing-up: We need to stop talking about work-life balance and instead start working to make work suck less. It’s about job fulfillment – not work-life balance.