The Myth of Work-Life Balance

After some discussions and reflections, we have come to the realization that the concept of work-life balance is flawed – in fact, it’s simply wrong. OK, so what’s wrong with it?

First, it implies that work and life are distinct entities, as though we enter a different universe when we go to work every day, and then go back through the portal at night. Might work for Dr. Spock, but it’s not reality.

Second, the concept leads to the belief that work and life are equally important – so we have to even the scales so one side doesn’t tip at the expense of the other. If we cannot parse out our human time card so the numbers add up equally, then we are either workaholics or lazy bottom feeders.

Finally, this framework sets up the notion that we can achieve a level playing field of work and life in terms of hours we spend on each and our level of energy devoted to each. It implies that “balance” is a destination, something that can be achieved. We are left feeling like failures, as we struggle to obtain it and wonder how other people do it.

So this mythology has led us into a world of self-deception as leaders, which cascades throughout our organizations. From what we have seen, the work-life balance concept has resulted in a heavy dose of frustration and done more harm than good to our cultures. It is high time to readdress the concept of balance in our personal and professional lives, and set a new course for ourselves and those we serve….

In our next open workshop on March 23rd at Nazareth College, we’ll explore together a new approach to the principle of Balance. We’ll introduce a whole new concept, based on the premise that Balance is the commitment to live according to your values.

It’s not about time, location, or relative equality. Indeed, it’s far more elegant than that. We’ll take you out of your comfort zone during this dynamic, interactive 5 hour session, but you’ll walk away with a whole new perspective of how to create and sustain a true culture of Balance in your life, and in your team. Think about it. Here’s your opportunity to step back, consider new ideas, and get some practical takeaways that can change your life.