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Joe,

I’m going to revisit this flawed idea of Work-Life Balance again because it has come up in a couple conversations for me lately. As I have thought more about it, I am convinced (as you are) that the whole idea of balancing work and life is complete nonsense. Life is what you experience 24 hours a day so long as you are breathing. Work is part of it. Play is a part of it. Sleep is a part of it. We don’t talk about sleep-life balance, nor do we talk about play-life balance. So why work-life balance?

Here’s my theory. I think it’s because most of America hates their jobs (or at least is working in the wrong job). Sure, organizations do a lousy job of hiring the right people into the right jobs, but I think this is more about the individual taking accountability for their own personal happiness. If you are in a job that you hate, the best way to change that is to find a job that you like. To do that requires some work. You have to spend some time thinking about who you are and what you want to do with your life (issues most people run away from). No, most people would rather just spit venom at their employer for having them out of “balance” with their life (the things they do when they aren’t working in the job they hate).

It’s not wrong to think about balance in your life. That’s a very worthy endeavor, but there are a lot of things that provide balance: health, growth, relationships, meaning, etc. I think most people would be better served to focus on life balance. If you life is out of balance because you had a crappy job, change jobs. Find something you like to do and your work-life balance issue will go away.

-Jason

Categories: Work-life Balance

2 Responses so far.


  1. Agreed. In entrepreneurship, one dictum is "try to balance work and life at your own risk" for reasons similar to the ones you note here.

  2. Lisa Gates says:

    Love this post. We don't crave balance for balance sake, but because we want a life of meaning,joy and accomplishment. Path to getting there is to make consistent, repeated choices that honor what you value.

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