“We need to accept that the
work/life balance is a utopia that
– Ashley Brown
Do you spend too much time working? Or are you guilty of slacking off and not working as hard as those around you? Is your social life in ruins or does your significant other think you have a stronger relationship with your laptop than with them?
Many people will say that the problem lies in an unhealthy work-life balance. I disagree. There will never be a perfect balance between your career, relationships, and social life; it is not possible.
However, that does not mean your whole life has to revolve around your business. Instead, it is about finding your own manageable balance that is defined by you.
Unfortunately, there is no BuzzFeed quiz you can take to find that internal balance. It is a personal journey that we all need to take to create that space where we don’t feel that our various commitments are tearing us apart.
Here are my top three tips for ridding yourself of the work/life balance and finding a manageable path that will make you feel happy and fulfilled.
Don’t Define Yourself By Other People’s Standards
It is not just me that believes the work/life balance is a myth. Actress Mila Kunis during the press tour for her new movie Bad Moms called the idea of women “having it all” an idea of balance that doesn’t exist.
In the film itself which centres around parents who are done trying to be perfect, Kunis’ character says, “I’m so tired of trying to be this perfect mom.”
“I’m so tired of trying to be this perfect mom.”
This quote resonated quite strongly with me. The whole work/life balance myth stems from people trying to meet this invisible standard set by the people around us. To be considered a successful woman, we need to have the perfect marriage, kids, and a rewarding career. If we fail in one of these aspects, we have not met the requirements, and it is concluded we must be doing something wrong.
It is this mindset that we need to change. Every woman is different. The things that drive us to wake up in the morning, the things that make us happy are what make us feel fulfilled, and it is not one-size fits all recipe.
So I encourage you to throw out the cookbook for success and define it by your own terms. At the end of the day, it is only you that has to be happy with who you are and what you do.
Balance Is Not A Stable Destination – It is In A State of Constant Change
There is this idea that once you achieve this magical sense of work/life balance, that is it. You are done. You have achieved the impossible, and now you can happily coax through life never having to worry again about managing all the different aspects of your life.
In reality, this will never happen. Balance implies that there is an end point, an elusive sweet spot that if we try hard enough, we will attain.
Balance is not a fixed state; it is fluid and self-defined. Just like we don’t know what to expect each day, the different spheres of our lives are constantly changing. Whether it is new responsibilities at work or your children growing up and their needs changing, we will always need to make adjustments to keep our business, family and social lives in good order.
Make Time To Unplug And Stop The Information Overload
As someone who relies on the online world as a major source of my income, one of my biggest problems is disconnecting and appreciating the benefits of real down time.
The constant need to always be connected is an unhealthy addiction that disrupts the other facets of your life and often causes feelings of being overworked or “unbalanced”. It is because of this that we need to schedule a time to unplug and let it be known to our colleagues. Not only will it help to reduce a burnout, but it will also minimize the chance of your work overwhelming you.
In the digital age that we live in, our work can easily follow us no matter where we are. This is why it is more important than ever to put aside our office duties, politics, and responsibilities.
Even if your job is your passion, you still need that break from communication technologies and information overload.
We need to accept that the work/life balance is a utopia that doesn’t exist. This does not mean that you can’t have a rewarding career, a fulfilling relationship and be a great parent, but it’s about forgiving yourself when that balance is not perfect. Focus on the positive, accept that it’s not easy to juggle all these different facets and give yourself credit for how well you are doing.
Tell me in the comments below – Do you believe in a work/life balance?