“Balance is not better time management, but better boundary management. Balance means making choices and enjoying those choices.” — Betsy Jacobson
I completely agree that Balance is not better time management. It means making the correct choices and enjoying them. Those choices could be anything from the book that you pick up to read or the day job or the company that you decided to work for.
There is so much said and written about work-life balance that people start dreaming about having a perfect personal life and a perfect work life balance. Has anyone ever achieved one?
As a career woman , a wife , a mother , a daughter and a daughter in law I never had the luxury of perfectly carving a boundary for each of those roles. They would always overlap. I could never walk away from my work at the office after an eight hours work and decide to switch off my mind from office work. Neither could I walk away from my responsibilities as a mother and decide to stop thinking and worrying about my child when I walked into the office every morning. Each of the those roles require respect and love. Even the thought of creating such boundaries can be overwhelming. I would often get stressed when someone would remind me of work life balance.
Work Life Integration
If you are passionate about your work, then you would never feel as if you are doing some hard work. And that is where making the right choice matters. If the work is not to your liking and you are pursuing it because of the pay packet that it brings every month, then it would be a monster which you would find difficult to get rid off
Work life integration is more about being flexible. To me it is about making adjustments both at work and in the other important roles that you have towards the family.Family is always a first priority , but success at work can also not be ignored. With new communication devices and collaboration technologies, this is not difficult to manage.
Bouncing all balls skillfully is what requires practice. There is no one solution fits all kind of things. Each of us have different roles, different priorities, different choices and different levels of support. If you make the right choice and seek the right level of support from your family and office colleagues, life would always be happy, relaxed and never burnt out.
Avoiding Burn out
Over investing in a single facet of your work life can cause burn out. Brings to mind the Harvard Business Review Article about Shonda Rhimes and how her single minded pursuit of her passion and work drove her to burnout and exhaustion. Her complete focus on just creating her work identity, and ignoring the expectations of her other identities caused her the burn out.
Life should be a proper mix of all flavours like happiness, failures, success ,hard work, etc. One cannot compartmentalize life and create boundaries around the different roles and identities one has. Doing so leads to stress.
It is unrealistic to think of work life and personal life as two different things today. The boundaries are blurred. Having a hobby that you enjoy or spending some fun time with family and friends, helps you reduce the stress levels. Even while at work, I would often get up from my desk and engage in conversation with my team members at their desk. The talk would be more about their families and how are they spending time with them. What hobbies are they pursuing or what book are they currently reading.
“Don’t Confuse Having A Career With Having A Life”- Hillary Clinton