Work – Life Balance – Part 2

Work – Life Balance – Part 2

When he worked, he really worked.  But when he played, he really PLAYED”   Dr.Seuss

The opening quote is meant to be funny. Yet, the implication of work-life mindfulness is about working your heart out from Monday – Friday then partying to hell from Friday night to Sunday night. I believe its about moving seamlessly, smoothly and mindfully on the continuum of work and life.

This is the second blog in the two-part series covering the area of work-life balance.

In part 1 of work-life balance, [link this to part 1 blog] I spoke about a work place culture where employees were judged on performance based on their time at the office rather than their ability to deliver required outcomes, in other words, just being present vs consistently delivering results.

The whole work-life balance thing is not new.  And there is no black and white that defines where work stops and life begins.

In conjunction with that septic culture of arriving early and staying back late at work, the need to look busy all the time is now also front and foremost.

I’m sure we’ve all seen that person at a Sunday BBQ, or kids soccer game, incessantly checking their email.  Seriously, can it be that important?

Don’t get me wrong – certainly there are instances where checking email often may legitimately be required – for whatever reason.

Yet, it’s that need to look busy that kicks work-life balance out of balance.

When work-life balance goes off-balance, then we have anther set of issues to content with – stress, fatigue and mental health.

And I think that’s the issue we have with trying to achieve a work-life balance – the need to look busy.

To achieve a practical work-life balance, there are two skills you need to master – one is the work part, (‘working’) and the other is the life part (‘lifing’) – I know there’s no such word as ‘lifing’, but it works for now!

Here’s the other thing that causes angst in work-life balance – the word balance itself.

Balance sort of implies you need do equal amounts of one and the other.

Also, ‘working’ implies the stuff that you do when you’re at work and ‘lifing’ implies all the other stuff outside of work.

Like I said, earlier, I truly don’t think there is a black and white definition of what is ‘working’ and what is ‘lifing’ – especially today.

It’s perfectly ok to be ‘lifing’ while ‘working’ and ‘working’ while ‘lifing’.

For example, while at work, you can engage in ‘lifing’ by taking time out to have lunch with your colleagues or engaging in conversation about their life, their interests and family.

And when not at work – at home, at a BBQ, soccer game – you can be doing work.

Try replacing the word balance with mindfulness instead.

Be mindful of doing work during your lift time and doing life during your working time.

So, instead of work-life balance – try, work-life mindfulness.

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