My clients are frazzled trying to achieve the ever evasive goal of work-life balance. I’ve come to believe there is no such thing as work-life balance. The problem is most of us don’t recognize this truth and spiral into guilt because we aren’t spending equal time in all aspects of life. What would happen if you gave yourself permission to shift from a paradigm of work-life balance to work-life counterbalance?
As I am an entrepreneur, grasping the concept of counterbalance was a journey for me; it is difficult to strike hard boundaries between the professional and personal. Over time it occurred to me to simply stop trying to create hard boundaries. They do not exist in my world. I am a President/CEO, wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, friend and colleague all at once. It is impossible to give equal time in each of these roles. I now plan my days based on the concept of work-life counterbalance. My understanding of this dynamic was enhanced by reading The One Thing, a powerful leadership book written by Gary Keller with Jay Papasan. Keller challenges us to consider what happens when leaders identify the most important thing they want to achieve, and make achieving it the “one thing” given daily focus. The book provides an array of strategies to assist leaders in organizing life to achieve their “one thing.” (Learn more at www.the1thing.com)
One strategy is learning to work from a position of counterbalance. Counterbalance has to do with leaders intentionally deciding to place attention on priorities as needed. The road to success is not a straight line. Truth: there are times leaders must be extreme about addressing priorities to get things accomplished. Keller describes this as, “understanding when to be in the middle and when to go to the extremes.” He suggests there are two types of counterbalance we must master. Counterbalance between work and life. Counterbalance within work and within life separately. If you desire to reduce stress about work-life balance, shift to the concept of work-life counterbalance.
Here are tips I share with clients desiring to work and live from this perspective: