In an article by Craig Chappelow, entitled “Work/Life Balance Is A Myth; Here’s What You Can Do About It,” Chappelow states that in reality, work/life balance actually doesn’t exist. He opens by saying:
“When I ask busy executives to describe a satisfying life, they often envision a scenario in which they work hard but dictate their own assignments. They want time to take part in important family events. They are eager to make real contributions to their organizations, and they also want breaks when they’re tired. What they really need is control. But, frequently, what they think they want is balance–and that’s where trouble starts.
Here’s what I tell them: work-life balance is a myth. That myth compels many of us to view an ideal life as a set of perfectly level scales. On the tray on one side is your personal life. On the other side is your work life. With heroic efforts, you can keep both trays exactly level. If one starts to tip too far, you make some kind of nifty move that balances them again.”
Later in the article, Chappelow shares how most people believe they can have the best of both worlds by working at home and spending time with family at the same time. With the distractions of kids, television and numerous interruptions, he says this is seemingly impossible. He does, however, share a few ideas to take the issue of work/life balance head on:
“Shore up the home front: A lot of stress in our lives, the kind that throws us way off balance, starts with relationship problems at home. Work on them. Get counseling, talk to your spouse and kids. If returning to your family after a day of work fills you with angst, that’s a situation only you can repair. Take ownership of the problem, and you’ll feel better for it.
Quit complaining: If you feel overworked to the point that you complain about it constantly, how do you think everyone around you feels about it? It’s trendy in many companies to run around with multiple, flashing digital devices strapped to our belts or spread out on the table, just so everyone can see how unbelievably busy and important we are. Reinvest that energy in reframing your career possibilities.
Say “no” strategically: The best time to take control of a job is before you accept it. Once you accept it, your negotiating power plummets. So set some ground rules. Be clear on how your performance will be measured. Test the waters. Does everyone in this organization work constantly? If so, don’t be surprised when that happens to you a few months later. If your boss loads you up with one more task, try to get an old one off your plate.”
Read the entire article here.