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The Fallacy Of Work-Life Balance

Yeah, you know what I’m talking about.

People talk about ‘work-life balance’ all the time but I find it basically does NOT exist. Not really.

When you take on a job, a career or a business, it becomes a significant part of you. When you do something several hours a day, in some ways you become it.

Work life balance
Should you have work-life balance... or balance within your working life?

It’s unavoidable, and there’s also nothing wrong with that!

However… that balance is something to find within your work rather than between your work and the rest of your life.

I’m telling you – you need ALL three to feel balanced:

Social – you need some form of the social element in your work, otherwise you’ll eventually find yourself in some form of hermitry (yes, that’s a word, I just invented it). Especially for those who are self-employed, if you’re not careful you’ll one day find yourself ‘going to work’ at noon, having video calls secretly in your underwear, and basically just missing out on a lot. Which The Oatmeal so aptly described. The social element is also important for self-expression and personal growth, so it’s basically something everyone needs to be successful.

Contribution – this sounds way too obvious to make the list, but really it’s not. Too many people stick with jobs where they cannot contribute, stop contributing when they’re bored with their jobs, or simply get lazy over time. Contribution is where true job satisfaction comes from, and we should jump at every opportunity to contribute in any way. That’s why we’re here. If you don’t currently feel you’re contributing enough, start looking for ways to do so.

Inspiration – if you don’t love what you do, you might slip into thinking this is some cruel joke. But deep down you know this is true. If you don’t find inspiration within your job, you’re probably in the wrong line of work. It can come in so many ways, and you should also provide inspiration to others in your working environment. It’s all a delightful, continuous give-and-take.

Think about your work environment and your everyday experience.

Do you have all three in equal measure, or are you lacking in one of the categories?

  • If you lack the social element, you risk becoming a loner.
  • If you lack the contribution element, you risk finding a dead end.
  • If you lack the inspiration element, you risk getting bored and/or fed up.

When you have all three, you know life is going to be pretty sweet. 🙂 Fun, fulfilling and always expanding in some great new ways.

There’s always a way to find all three without overhauling everything, so start making lists of ways to include all three in your experience.

Don’t settle for having work and life be an either/or proposition. You CAN have a life where all parts have equal meaning within themselves. Just start looking for ways to find and keep your ideal setup!

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Comments to: The Fallacy Of Work-Life Balance
  • April 17, 2012

    I did my morning exercise before I go to work. It is important of taking good care of our self with our hectic schedule. We should know how to balance time.

    Reply
  • April 17, 2012

    Very true, Carmen. I just had a nice morning swim this morning before heading to work. A great way to start the day right…

    Reply
  • April 18, 2012

    This is something that I have long thought, but could not articulate. Well put! Something I find that people lack most often is inspiration. They work to make a paycheck, forgetting how short life is. I will share this post with people so they can take stock on their lives as well.

    Reply
  • April 19, 2012

    Balancing it all out is really important. And yeah, staying at home all the time in your underwear could really be bad for your health and anyone around you (The Oatmeal is an amazing site, by the way). I never really considered how important contribution was to your job. If you’re going to work your butt off at something, I suppose it would be a good idea to benefit your community. And yeah, inspiration is really important. Working a 9 to 5 job would drive any sane person crazy after a certain point.
    Thanks for posting this! Gave me food for thought 🙂

    Reply
  • April 19, 2012

    Elena – benefit to community is important, sometimes it can be a bit much to be just a cog in a wheel. But I mean more like being able to contribute enough value within your job, but I guess that gets into metaphysics pretty quickly as situations are as diverse as people. 🙂 Thanks for dropping by!

    Reply
  • April 20, 2012

    I totally agree! People get bored and fed up ‘coz they stress themselves out with work, work and work. Been there! Going out with friends, finding inspiration and getting the right motivation helps. Thank you for this post.

    Reply
  • April 23, 2012

    We should know how to balance time.Staying at home all the time in your underwear could really be bad for your health and anyone around you. Thanks for sharing..

    Reply
  • April 23, 2012

    If you’re going to work your butt off at something, I suppose it would be a good idea to benefit your community. Thanks for the great post.

    Reply
  • Very true that the key is not to balance ourselves 50-50…but to find harmony with whatever we are doing…That means that we very well have to spend 70% of our time at work, but we need to find joy in it!

    Reply
  • April 30, 2012

    I am a blogger by profession and the worst part about blogging is that you have to work alone and some times it irritates you.

    Reply
  • May 4, 2012

    Great, I like your way to explain it, You always have new something, thank for sharing..:)

    Reply
  • May 5, 2012

    In the online business you always find yourself working alone and yes, it does get frustrating at times because you start to lack inspiration and will to write, create etc.
    Having a balance between your work and doing “something else” is crucial.

    Reply
  • May 18, 2012

    Hi Juho,

    Many people are struggling with this and I used to be one of them before. As we become experts in our field I believe we will gradually find a good grasp of work-life balance.

    One of the turning points in my life was when I talked with Bob Yeager and he told me stuff that you can never learn from school, a book or any website.

    I believe one of the most important questions to ask is: “When will be one’s turning point to achieve work and life balance?”

    Just my thoughts,

    Nick

    Reply
  • June 4, 2012

    But if you really love your job and what you do there won’t be a problem of this balance. But if you hate it, there is a question why you go on doing it/

    Reply
  • June 7, 2012

    Yah it’s important to balancing your work and life.spend all the time in a home is not good for your health and your life too.

    Reply
  • June 7, 2012

    I’m also facing this type of situation sometimes because I give a lot of time and dedication in my work. In turn, I lose time for my girlfriend and she gets mad at me.

    Reply
  • June 9, 2012

    Yes, that’s what building
    a – Happy – Home Business is all about.

    Btw. talking about Ballancing, did I mention that on my – Healthy Lifestyle – Blog I (pre) sell amung other things a Wii Fit Plus with Balance Board? 🙂

    On that blog you can also find an Inspiring Video that can help to get Inspiration for Excersising and Early Morning Jogging.

    Reply
  • June 15, 2012

    I think personally we should spend of our available time doing something totally opposite particularly if you are like myself tied to a screen perforce for a large part of every day.(12 hours +) We are all having to work a lot harder in these times. Fortunately I have a partner to bounce ideas off and keep me level.
    I start the day with a 20 minute ride on an exercycle, allow an hour at lunchtime for an outdoor activity, preferably walking, or gardening. Allow at least some time a week to helping others, good for the soul! Without trying, these are the times I find my inspiration to write.
    Thank you for your thoughtful post.

    Reply
  • June 15, 2012

    The importance of loving your job is here ! The more you like it the easier it is.

    Reply
  • June 15, 2012

    I find that after being on my computer most of the day, the last thing I want to do is spend my evenings on the computer, except for personal use, but even then it isn’t as enjoyable because I’m tired of staring at a screen.

    Reply
  • June 19, 2012

    Also, it is important to make sure work life does not take over personal life. We should strive to keep the important things as our number one priorities. Too often we allow the unimportant things to take precedent. After a while it becomes an unhealthy pattern.

    Reply
  • June 19, 2012

    One thing I found quite quickly when I first started my online business was the lack of social (real) interaction taking place. I mean not only was my business entirely online, but I was also working crazy hours building it so I had very little time left over. (selfishly I wanted those 6 to go towards sleep) 🙂

    Third year now, and things are settling down, and it was worth it but looking back I think I’d have made some time for extra curricular events somewhere in my life and on a regular basis.

    Reply
  • June 24, 2012

    Oh, balance is so important but so difficult… Nice article… Elena

    Reply
  • Wonderful article. I agree completely that the balance between work and life is very important. You’ll burn yourself out faster without it. Balance in everything is and always will be important. Thank you so much for this article. It was a very nice read. 🙂

    Reply
  • July 3, 2012

    Vary interesting post.Yes that is vary important to balance your work and life.Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us.

    Reply
  • July 13, 2012

    Everything in the world has balance. It’s something that we cannot live without. Too much of something is never good. It is very important to ALWAYS have balance. Work and play should be perfectly balanced. Yin and Yang. Having perfect balance in life gives you peace.

    Reply
  • August 21, 2012

    This post really caught my eye because it came out and stated the obvious in the beginning, the balance that everyone always touts is very hard to obtain. In order to be really good at something you really have to throw yourself into it. You did give good tips on how to actually do that and the importance of it too. I don’t want to become a loner!! 😛

    Reply
  • August 23, 2012

    Work-Life Balance? What’s that again?
    My days off are spent with at least 2-3 hours dedicated to work, if they weren’t I’d end up out of business!
    It’s a shame and maybe you have to be super successful or super rich to be able to have work-life balance that really works…

    Reply
  • November 17, 2012

    Well said. My father was a professor and worked essentially all the time. There was no problem. He loved what he did. He had “free time” but he also loved work so much he was always doing it. He would schedule visits to factories… during his vacation. I can totally understand how most people would see that as horrible. And for many it is important to some separation. But what you need is time to do what is important to you, time to do what you love, time to relax… For some that is time away from work. But it isn’t for everyone.

    Reply
  • January 17, 2013

    is this a do follow blog…………….

    Reply
  • January 17, 2013

    Sodies, yes it is… not to be abused though. Comments welcome.

    Reply
  • March 14, 2013

    Hi there Juho, I could not be more agree with you. You become what you do for a living in some point. Very interesting post indeed. 🙂

    Reply
  • March 16, 2013

    You just made the right point Juho. As long as you love what you are doing and it is what inspire you, you definitely won’t feel stressed as what others thought when they do not love they work.

    Reply
  • March 24, 2013

    The importance of loving your job is here. The more you like it the easier it is.

    Reply
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