08 Jun Stop Competing For Work-Life Balance, Start Thinking About Work-Life Fusion

work-life-balanceI regularly hear people say, “I need better work-life balance” or “I don’t know how to juggle my job and my family.” Are you one of these people? I am, but I’m working on it.

According to Google, there are about 30,000,000 search results with varying definitions and philosophies for work-life balance. Just to make sure that we are on the same page, let’s review the definitions of work, life, and balance.

Work is an activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result. Life is the condition that distinguishes people, animals, and plants from inorganic matter, including the capacity for growth, reproduction, and continual change. Balance is an even distribution of weight.

Where Do You Need to Pay More Attention?

Pause and ask yourself the following question: Where do I need to pay more attention?

Do you need more time for self-reflection? Do you need more quality time or date nights with your spouse? Do you need more time for yourself to exercise? Do you need more mornings to master the skill that your next promotion requires?

Is Balance even Possible?

If you struggle to always focus your time on “that area” or “those areas” that you feel aren’t completely balanced, you will struggle forever. You’ll end up saying no to too many good things, while you try to keep all the balls in the air.  When I try to balance and juggle, I start to get distracted, overwhelmed, stressed, and have actually burned out. Have you been in this situation yourself? Remember, balance is an even distribution of weight. Why is this simple definition so important when it pertains to work-life balance? Quite simply, you can’t achieve an exact balance, or an even distribution, between your life at home and your time at work. It creates a competition between work and life

Personal Values vs. Work Values

Think for a few moments about your personal values and your work values. Do your work values compete with or complement your personal values?  If the work values compete, it’s time to look for a new career. If they complement your personal values, you’ve got a great chance of fusing together your work and home lives.

What Is Work-Life Fusion?

Fusion is the process of joining two or more things together to form a single entity. Visualize a puzzle with only two pieces. One piece is labeled work values and the other is labeled life or personal values. Finish the puzzle by connecting or fusing the two pieces.

Instead of competing for work-life balance, think work-life fusion. Let go of the rigid boundaries that currently exist between your work and your life. If your values in life are the same as your values at work, the boundaries should be blurry.  Blending together what needs to get done, day to day, at both work and home, will let you live the life you’ve been striving for from the beginning.  Blur the boundaries and let them settle together.

Work-life balance is about feeling stressed by trying to do a little bit of everything. Work-life fusion is about living your ideal life by focusing on what truly matters to you. Where are you right now? More importantly, where do you want to be in the future?

ACTION: Stop competing for balance. Instead, ask yourself, “Where do I need to pay more attention?” Choose one important value and actually spend time going deep in that area. Enjoy your progress as well as your freedom from trying to be all things to all people.

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