The ideal of a work-life balance has been on my mind since ages ago (before I finished high school).
- How does one fit in extra-curricular activities outside the hours of 9-5/8-6/12 hour shifts?
- What about a social life?
- How am I meant to save money if the above take up the precious time I could use to prep home-made lunches and take the cheaper option on my commute?
Obviously I was asking the big questions early on. More than 10 years, two degrees and a change of countries later and I still sometimes grapple with the idea of ‘balancing’ it all.
This is where we have the opportunity to craft our thinking with the language we use. What is balance? Anyone who’s ever been on a wobble board (even without an injury) knows that balance takes practice and can be tipped by the smallest thing. So why do we crave it? Is it all it’s cracked up to be?
This is where we meet work-life blend. Rather than two opposites vying for an equal portion of the scales, the term work-life blend acknowledges that work and life are parts of the same whole.
If you find yourself pining for better work-life balance, I suggest starting your exploration of work-life blend with two questions:
- What do I want?
- How are my activities in work & life taking me towards this?
These won’t result in some awe-inspiring epiphany, yet they will challenge your thinking and broaden your awareness of where and how you’re spending your time and energy. If you don’t know or don’t like the answer to one (or both), then change it.
Whether your work is paid or unpaid, full-time or part-time, and whether what you do for work is driven by you or larger organisational drivers, it’s your relationship to own.Coaching is a great way to explore work-life blend. If you want to know more, email me firstname.lastname@example.org
Some further reading on work-life blend:
- For if you manage people and want to better understand how to promote work-life blend?
- Seeing work & life as complimentary (HBR)
- Taking a more human approach to work-life balance
- Work-life integration, a matter of semantics