Finally, somebody I can relate to in the whole work-life balance discussion. Keith Hammonds has written an article in this months Fast Company magazine on the myth of work-life balance.
I agree with Keith wholeheartedly that balance may be a false god or idol – something people aspire to and then fail, causing only more negative stress. Many people who have achieved great things in their lives have been completely unbalanced. Does balance preclude greatness? Does great achievement require one to be unbalanced?
Secondarily, for those who are still chasing balance, I don’t think that they have to attain it in one day. Stretch the timeline. How about achieving balance over your week? Month? Year? Decade? It just means extending your time horizon and thinking on different scales. I personally find that I can only focus on one or two areas of my life intensely at any one time and that the others then by necessity get less attention. But over a period of weeks or months, I do tend to visit each of the key areas in my life and pay them some attention.
Another trait I commonly express is my binary nature. I may crawl “into the cave” and not see some of my friends for weeks or months, and then at other times, I can’t spend enough time with them. My introversion/extroversion is in the dead centre when measured but that’s because it’s 100% in one direction and 100% in another direction on different days, netting out in the middle at a draw. I often think that in that microscopic way, I am indeed “balanced” but again, only when viewed over a longer time scale.
In any case, this article is worth a read, no matter where you sit in this discussion. And I have also taken the liberty of copy/pasting the entire 7 pages together into a PDF because for some reason the “Print this” icons at Fast Company’s website, only printed the PAGE, not the ARTICLE.