3 reasons ‘work/life’ balance is a fallacy (and a glimpse at a better solution)

 

We’ve all heard the idea of “work/life balance” and a growing number of companies even support the idea because letting employees have time to manage their lives outside of work usually means better a better-engaged workforce.

Here’s the problem: the idea of work/life balance is a fallacy. A farce. And not to mention, unhealthy.

One of the major issues with the two-sided approach of the work/life balance strategy is that it assumes that we only have two aspects of life: work and then everything else. I have listed just a few reasons why work/life balance is not a good idea.

For starters, it just isn’t true. Everyone has many aspects of their life that must be managed in the same 24 hours a day. Whether you have commitments to your family or consistent hobbies, everyone has many components and responsibilities to incorporate.

The work/life balance idea still emphasizes work above everything else. With work being one of two things being balanced, the concept inherently places work above life.

Finally, the work/life balance will continually create lack of balance, which is unhealthy. It is irrational to think that we only have work and then the rest of life follows it. If we try to only do work and the top priorities of “life,” then we are missing out and will ultimately find ourselves frustrated and unfulfilled. Things will get missed, problems will happen.

Throughout my life and through my training as a Certified Personal Leadership Effectiveness Advisor with Future Achievement International (FAI), I have learned that there is a better way to balance life, which centers around the MAXIMIZER principle “integrate all of life.” In place of the work/life balance strategy, I recommend a more viable and sustainable life-management model.

Integrate All of Life

In FAI Personal Leadership Effectiveness training, this is the Integrate All of Life principle. The Integrate All of Life “teaches how to develop personal balance in attitudes, priorities and goals When individuals get out of control and lose balance they become highly susceptible to distress, anger and fear, depression and even burnout. There is a deep need to rebuild personal balance for individuals to maximize their productivity, overall job performance and personal contribution to the team.”

An easier way to look at the Integrate All of Life model is through the 7 Fs. By balancing all aspects of your life, you are more likely to maximize your work life and all aspects of your personal life.

Here’s a quick look at the 7 Fs of life (in no specific order):

  • Firm: your work life.
  • Faith: anything that pertains to your spiritual well-being.
  • Family: applies to anything from your immediate family commitments to your extended family.
  • Friendships: time spent maintaining friendships
  • Finances: any activities related to managing your finances. This is different from firm, which is how you earn the money, whereas finances is how you manage that money.
  • Fitness: taking care of your physical being. This can mean sleeping more, taking a daily jog, or simply eating right.
  • Fun: pleasurable activities that are just for you. This can mean hobbies, guilty pleasures, or simply quiet time to yourself. Anything that lets you disconnect and rejuvenate is considered fun!

Want to learn more about true balance—integrating all of life? If can help you understand steps to lead a healthier, more sustainable balance. Want to share this idea with your Northwest Arkansas region group, or professional organization? I am also available to speak to professional organizations about the importance of integrating all of life. Contact me to discuss how to start understanding a healthier, more rational, integrated life.

 

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