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  • Writer's pictureDiana Morris

Here's Why "Work-Life Balance" is a Myth. Do This Instead to Find Fulfillment

In 2011, Randi Zuckerberg, entrepreneur, investor, bestselling author, and founder and CEO of Zuckerberg Media, shared what's proven to be an evergreen thought on Twitter: “The entrepreneur's dilemma: Maintaining friendships. Building a great company. Spending time w/family. Staying fit. Getting sleep. Pick 3.”

Even if you're not an entrepreneur as referenced in the tweet, if you’re like millions of other people, you have found yourself feeling like you need to choose between multiple responsibilities, obligations, desires, needs, and wants in your life.

This, my friend, is why I wholeheartedly believe that the concept of “work-life balance” as we commonly talk about it is bs.

When you consider the fact that “balance”—by definition—refers to an equal distribution of weight or force between two or more things, this is a battle that you’ll be hard-pressed to win.

Add in the fact that this notion of balancing the two calls on you to

1. look at “work” as one category and “life” as the other and

2. completely ignore the real, complex, messy world that you and I live in,

and you see why I'm sounding the alarm.

This is why when a client first signs on to work with me, I have them complete my signature Define and Align(TM) Inventory, a holistic questionnaire that invites them to review their current circumstances based on eleven (11!) areas of life:

  • Physical health and well-being

  • Intellectual health and well-being

  • Emotional health and well-being

  • Spiritual health and well-being

  • Financial health and well-being

  • Romantic relationships

  • Care-taking relationships

  • Social relationships

  • Résumé and career

  • Character and values

  • Purpose and vision

As you look at that list, there are likely some areas that are obvious to you and others that may come as a surprise, but here’s what you need to understand:

Each one of these categories impacts your day-to-day experience and quality of life whether you recognize them or not

... and to lump 10 of them into “life” and only leave “work” to its own devices (as if they don’t ebb and flow in level of importance and priority each minute, hour, day, week, month, and year) or to assume that they will always be perfectly balanced out is exactly why so many people walk around feeling out of alignment and unfulfilled.

Today I invite you to take another look at that list and do a mini-inventory of your own by asking yourself this:

  • Which of these areas am I focusing on right now?

  • Which one(s) am I neglecting?

As you consider your answers, give yourself the gifts of honesty and grace because sometimes we’re able to blend all of these things “perfectly” and other times we choose to take our focus and energy away from one to devote to another…

Sometimes that focus and lack thereof is by design and other times it’s completely unintentional...

This is why the myth of “work-life balance” is so dangerous, because despite what you’ve heard, the goal shouldn’t be to “balance” everything precisely—it should be to at least be AWARE that these layers exist so that you can be more intentional with how you spend your time, effort, and energy blending them together.

Once you have your answers, the next step is to start small and choose ONE category that you’re going to pay more attention to over the next seven days.

This could be by clearly outlining what you want this category to look like or simply acknowledging that it's a category worthy of your time, energy, and attention…

just choose one to focus on for now and then decide what you want to keep, what you want to add, and what you want to remove as it relates to that area.

Because you and I know you are so much more than your job title, your relationship, your bank account, or any other category that has been overshadowing the others. Isn't time you started living like it?

If you’re ready to blend your multi-layered life a little bit better and refocus your time, effort, and energy into the things that actually matter, let’s talk about working together.


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