Lately, I have been hearing the concept of “work-life balance” being tossed by employers and consultants. Conceptually, a work-life balance (WLB) is prioritizing your professional and personal life in that you don’t feel overburden by one and lacking in another. From the interpretation I’ve gotten, a WLB is not exactly balancing your work and and regular life 50/50.
If that is the case, then a quote from a Richard St. John book “8 to be Great: 8 Traits That Lead to Great Success” may put this concept into question.
Michael Eisner, former CEO of Disney, commented:
“…if you go halfway at work, you are likely to go halfway at home in your professional life.”
After reading that passage, is the work-life balance worth the balance if you don’t go “100%” in your professional life and “100%” in your personal life? The pursuit of a WLB may not be the answer for many because there is the trade-off in which we can’t seem to resolve for ourselves: go “all in” and work and sacrifice part of our personal lives, or vice versa.
In my professional life, trying to balance that work-life dynamic is a difficult one. If I spend my time trying to advance in my career or job, I sacrifice the personal interaction with my family and friends. If I want to spend more time socializing and meeting people, I feel guilty if my work starts to lag behind.
Maybe it’s okay to be unbalanced and still feel like you can accomplish a sense of semblance in your life.