Work-life balance is a myth. Queue the haters. But I stand firm in what I believe. Especially if you are dealing with some type of chronic illness or health struggle. I’m here to share not just why it’s a myth, but also how we can reexamine the culture of balance and what to focus on instead.
Work-Life Balance is a Myth
This article is part of a series on examining the work-life balance culture and busting the myths around it. The work-life balance debate is real! As women, I feel like we were born to juggle and multi-task. If something has to be done, we will handle it. We juggle our families, spouses, kids, aging parents, jobs, volunteering, faith activities, being a good neighbor, and so many more.
Every. Single. Day.
Add some type of health challenge or chronic illness and our days become even more complex and complicated.
The plates spin and spin and spin.
If you are lucky.
For most of us, the plates start to drop.
And that’s why I stand firm in saying that work-life balance is a myth. Here’s why. And how you can shift the way you view your “balanced” day.
Who Are You?
We are not single creatures. We are complex human beings with responsibilities, emotions, and ever-changing priorities. When you wake up in the morning, what is the first thing you think of?
Do you think about how you are going to eat (breakfast, lunch, dinner) for you and your family?
Do you think about all of the activities and responsibilities with the kids?
Do you think about your assignments and deadlines at work?
Do you think about tidying up the house and what needs to be cleaned?
Do you think about making that phone call to schedule your doctor’s appointment?
How about all of the above? All at the same time?
Raise your hand if the answer is an exhausting YES! Like… I’m tired before I even get out of bed.
Is it becoming more clear that your life isn’t an either-or situation?
Psst… want to 10x your productivity even if you have health issues? It’s eezy peezy! Click below…
What Do You Focus On?
When you are home and with your family… spouse, kids, etc… are you 100% there with them? Or are you thinking about the project at work that has the upcoming deadline? Are you checking emails from your boss? Are you scrolling aimlessly through social media?
When you are at work… are you mentally there 100% of the time? Are you wondering if your child’s cough is getting worse? Are you hoping to leave work on time to pick them up from school or daycare? Are you wondering what you have in the fridge to make for dinner?
And if you have a chronic illness or health condition… are you just trying to stay afloat and make it through the day?
Our lives do not have an on-off switch.
Our lives do not offer an either-or scenario.
We live in a plurality of being complex creatures.
So how do we bust the myth and reclaim a new meaning of balance?
Accept Where You Are
Accept where you are.
The good. The bad. And the ugly.
Accept that you are human.
Accept that you are flawed.
Accept that you are not going to turn off your home life at work and your work life at home.
Accept that plates are going to spin and plates are going to break.
Accept that your life isn’t perfect in the sense of how you currently view it. (FYI – each of our lives ARE perfect and blessed by God, but not from the unrealistic vision of how we define perfection).
Accept that if you work from home, it gets even messier and more complicated. (and that’s a whole different topic of conversation!)
Doesn’t that feel better to get it all out?
Shift Your Thinking
Now, instead of focusing on the balance, focus on these two things.
Being more mindful.
And reexamining your productivity strategy.
I’ve got some great ideas for you in the article, 5 Steps to Manage Your Work-Life Balance but these two will help to get you started.
Whenever you shift tasks, take a moment… literally 5 seconds and set your intentions to be more mindful while completing that task. It’s super simple but it’s soooo powerful! You will still get off-focus and your mind will still wonder. But it will help to focus on the task at hand and be more mindful of giving it your (mostly) full attention.
Secondly, I love love love this productivity hack. Split your daily priorities (for work and home) into easy and difficult tasks. Then focus on your difficult tasks when you have the energy and focus. And your easier tasks when you don’t have a lot of time, are rushed, or tired. Write your list. Work your list. This method has been a life-saver for me and so many others in my community!
I hope you walk away encouraged and inspired. It’s not always about the balance, but how we plan our day and recognize how our complex life has to work together cohesively.
You’ve got this, my friend!
More Work-Life Balance Resources
TRANSFORM: Gratitude at Work 4 Week Challenge
PRIORITIZE: Daily Priorities Tracker
Are you Inspired?
Love, hugs, and busting the myth.
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