As of April 5th, 2023, I have a job. Now after 3 weeks, I’m asking myself if I have (or ever had) the elusive work-life balance.
So I watched an interview on YouTube with Sabrina Cruz, where she chats about being a digital content creator. The video was a great interview, about 15 mins in, she talks about work-life balance and struggling to have both, specifically a life outside of her creative career. This made me think about my life and having the reverse: a lack of work-life balance.
Now before you get your pitchforks and torches, hear me out; I have a robust social life. My non-work days are some of my favorites, but I also enjoy working. I don’t think I’ve made an effort in that department. we often look at work-life balance as a lack of free time. We imagine that we stay in jobs we hate because the pay keeps the lights on in our homes. if we love our jobs, we spend too much time on them and end up forgetting about the people we also love. But isn’t balance individual?
Neil Pasricha’s “The Happiness Equation” mentions having Life Buckets: Sleep, Work, and everything else. You choose the buckets, but the guide is for mathematically quantified 8-hour buckets. Now, that being said, is anything ever neatly sorted? Another way to develop a work-life balance is the Essentialist approach, expressed in Greg McKeown’s book “Essentialism.” From what I’ve read, Essentialism is about recognizing what you value and being intentional concerning your time, energy, and attention. So time a person’s time is not a matter of quantity but of quality.
So which is it, time or intention? For me, I often start projects I can’t finish, for example, the 8 months of nothing on this blog (sorry, but also sorry-not-sorry). I’m intentional when I make an effort, but my default is low-energy. So how do I change that?
James Clear spends some time on the monotony of a new habit in his book, “Atomic Habits“. The trick to making the task more fulfilling according to Clear is to make the habit “Irresistible.” Thankfully there are a lot of ways to go about that. Clear suggests shaping your environment, having an accountability partner, using technology to automate or remind you, making one-time choices or purchases to invest in your new habit or habits, and so much more. Honestly, it’s a nice read, and the audiobook is great!
Work-life balance reminds me of the myth often told to women about “Having it all.” The permeating belief that one day if you put in the time, energy, and attention you can get a full family life with a rewarding career. It seems like the gender-neutral version of that lie is still permeating people’s minds. I heard once that a “work-life” is, by its own semantics, to stop being a person to be a worker. I don’t necessarily believe that. The “balance” part is important, and when you first start to try to balance, you fall. it takes some adjusting and practice and understanding that it is an active state.
so Atomic Habits style: what did we cover in this article?
- Work-life balance can go both ways.
- Work-life balance is specific to the person.
- There are various approaches to work-life balance such as intensity or allotted time.
- If you want to create a habit around work-life balance try to make the task work for you.
- Work-life balance is an active state that takes practice.
If you have any comments or suggestions for what I should write about type below for everyone to see. If you liked this article give it a like, if not I will take constructive criticism, but please, be nice.
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