Photo by Bethany L King
I have often been challenged by the concept of work-life balance. It seemed to me that this should be implemented like a pie chart, applied daily. So much time for work, so much time for relaxation. I realized that this is not always possible on a day-to-day basis. There are days when work will take more, and days when non-work activities take a stronger role.
Is Balance a Pipe Dream?
I begin to wonder if it is at all possible to balance life. I think if one didn’t have outside demands like a job, it might be easier. But few of us have that luxury, and from what I can tell, the few that do often spend their lives in frivolous pursuits. I decided to look at the balance issue.
Perhaps it is an outdated concept, for the Internet didn’t turn up too many recent articles concerning work-life balance. Does that mean that everyone is balanced? I think not.
In fact most of the articles contained advice about making better use of your time.
Can Balance Be Obtained by Better Productivity?
I don’t think work-life balance can be obtained by productivity methods. I really believe that if people are out of balance, it is because they don’t have their priorities set. A new piece of software or planner isn’t going to be a magic bullet to make life wonderful (although I’m sure the advertisers would have you believe otherwise).
What Time Frame?
I definitely know that the patterns for life do not admit to have balance day in and day out. Unless we shut ourselves away from the world, outside pressures will push the balance one way or another.
Everything in Moderation
“Moderation in all things.” The dramatist Terence had it right. Benjamin Franklin took it a bit further: “Avoid extremes.”
I am slowly coming to realize that the key to a balanced life is not strict balance, but moderation. If I limit what I take on, as well as the time I devote to an activity overall, I will have a more balanced and sane life, and consequently less stress.
It’s something to think about.