Work Life Balance or Life-Work Balance?
Talk to any potential candidate for a job and one of the questions that come up most often is what is the “work life balance” in the company? Talk to a friend or spouse and there is often a conversation about striking this perfect balance of work and then life. What is work life balance?
I went to google and typed in work life balance, article after article pops up. I then type in life work balance and nothing comes up. In our words we are prioritizing work over life, or in some cases work is our life. Someone asks us what we do and we answer with our title or our profession. I know many people who rearrange their entire life for work but may not give the same attention to their health, families, or hobbies.
I know many of you are reading this and saying, “Well, I have to do my job well because I need to be able to financially support my family” to that end, I completely agree. The question becomes, are you only financially supporting your family and not actually supporting your family? Are you there for the big and small moments?
I am someone who cares deeply about my job and I am a perfectionist, if I have a target that needs to be met (especially if I set it myself) I am going to make sure that target is met. However, my career is not my number 1 priority in life, my fiancé, my family, my friends, my dog Champ, my physical health, my mental health, and much more are all more important to me that my career. Does that mean I leave job responsibilities unmet or targets unfulfilled? No. It does mean that I have to plan and work more efficiently and in some cases differently. It does mean that I have to trust a team, it does mean that I have to set boundaries, and it does mean that I have to let go of control.
Far too many of us are defined by what we do to make a financial living and in some cases we define our worth by what we do for a living. I can tell you that I do not remember a single email I sent 5 years ago but I can tell you every detail of a Facetime with my niece and nephews. I assume the same will be true when I am 100, my guess is that I won’t look back and wish I had ignored my family and friends while sending back emails that could wait until the next day.
Think about the life work balance you strive to have and don’t wait until some perfect time in the future, make one change today. Make your priority list and then match up the time given to the priorities. If it doesn’t align, change it.