If you’ve been striving towards work-life balance, I urge you to stop wasting your time. Why? Well, there are several reasons, but perhaps the most important one is that the concept itself is faulty. It’s based on the premise that your life and your work are two different things. This makes absolutely no sense.
Your life is it, folks (at least the one on this side). We all get one…no more…no less. Your life represents the totality of your experiences on this planet and what you choose to do with the time you’re given. As a result, you cannot balance your life with something else because there is nothing else. To quote Pink Floyd, from the time you’re born until the time you die, “All you touch and all you see is all your life will ever be.”
Work is nothing more than a sub-set of your life. Granted, it can be a pretty big sub-set, but it’s a sub-set nonetheless. In fact, everything you spend your time on is a sub-set of your life…eating, sleeping, commuting, even watching television. But you never hear anyone talk about “TV-Life Balance” do you? (I take that back…I think the guy who wrote “The Information Diet” talks about this). Anyway, you get my point.
To achieve balance, all things must be equal. I ask you, on what day did the planets align in your life where all things were equal?
This never happens.Just take a look at where you spent your time yesterday or last week. Did you spend the same percentage of time on everything you did? Even if you argued that work=work and life=everything that’s not work, it still doesn’t balance.
In his article “34 Things I’ve Learned About Life and Adventure,” Chris Guillebeau writes: “Balanced people don’t change the world…Instead of agonizing over balance, get excited and create change.” Well said, Chris. When we do something that challenges us, that matters, that makes a difference, it requires work. But do you think Mother Theresa was worried about work-life balance? Probably not. When we shift our focus towards doing something with our lives that matters, we probably won’t either.