And then there was this topic about Work/Life Balance.. Let´s give it a go.
So – Work life balance. Is there such a thing? And if so, what does it look like? The truth has to be that this is highly individual, depending on what makes you tick, what values you have, what goals you have and what is important to you – right?
You need to have your own personal definition of success. What´s really important for me and what´s going to make ME happy?
You don´t want to end up sacrificing your family for money or happiness for progress, or progress for happiness, etc.
So how can you find balance? Let´s start with the fact that it is indeed called BALANCE, and thus it is also difficult to have only ONE metric. A lot of people make this mistake, and you might say that it is a collapsing strategy. If you are just focusing on happiness in the moment, you´re probably not thinking long term. If you´re just focused on achievement, then your relationships and your happiness are probably going to suffer.
A second known strategy is the sequence balance, which is when you tell yourself; first I´m gonna work really hard and make a lot of money, then I´m gonna meet someone, fall in love and start a family, then I´m gonna fulfill myself, etc…
Now, if we are being realistic with this one, this is rarely how it actually works out. Basically, you will almost most certainly never get there. Also, while you´re completely focusing on only one of these things, you might feel incomplete or miserable because you are not fulfilled at the time. Not to forget that you don´t want to end up regretting the fact that your kids don´t actually know who you are because you´ve been working all the time for the first 15 years of their lives..
There is also a third strategy, however, which is based on several metrics at once. The two Harvard Professors; Stevenson and Nash, found that among people who had balance, there where four metrics that were consistent. These 4 were:
- Happiness (Are you enjoying what you are doing? Are you having fun?
- Achievement (Progressing goals, making money, success in your career)
- Significance (For the people you love and the people who love you, are you making a positive impact on their life?)
- Legacy (Am I making the world a better place? Am I contributing to the future and to helping others?)
I personally like these 4 a lot and I think they cater to different aspects of my personality and goals at the same time. Also, I figure; If you focus on all of them, you might feel less guilty on constantly neglecting some of them, right? It might sounds like a lot to balance, but it´s not that hard. For example, you can take look at your calendar and look at the hours, and say; which “bucket” is this “activity” making a deposit to? Is this towards happiness? Legacy? etc.
Put a little bit in each bucket all the time. This might be a good way to try and find balance, instead of focusing on just this one thing. You can also have other metrics of course, like health, relationships, business, fun, etc. You might even rate yourself at the end of the day or week or month and see where you´re at.
Balance is probably never going to be super easy or perfect, but it is indeed good for you. – At the same time, remember that in order to create amazing things, one might have to be out of balance for a while, focusing entirely on one thing. But then again, this is hopefully then matching your personal definition of success.
Anyway what you decide, good luck!