Girl starting in front of a lake celebrating

What Does Work-Life Balance Really Mean?

Are you ready to be free from the myth of work-life balance. Our CEO, Celeste Edman, is here to talk about what work-life balance means and how to achieve it... or not.

This might be your shortest read today. Why? Because once you read my answer to this question, you may stop reading altogether.

Work-life balance is a myth.

Sorry, just the cold, hard facts today on this blog.

Social Media has changed everything.

Everything in our lives bleeds together. The lines of private social life are blurred by public social personas in which our community members, co-workers, friends, family, and everyone in-between chimes in on the goings-on of our lives. We refer to our friends to the companies we work for, we bring our children to work, we volunteer with our friends at work events that help a cause we believe in…

For example, the average Facebook user has just over 300 friends. However, the average person supposedly can only manage 5 close friendships at a time.

Balance is a loaded term.

Life encompasses many things. Relationships with your significant others, friends, kids, pets, co-workers, community members such as boards or religious organizations are all a part of your life. Health-- mental, physical, emotional, getting enough sleep, eating right, exercising, nurturing relationships, ensuring that you yourself are whole and cared for are also important. Work in the sense that you are accomplishing something daily or perhaps cumulatively, can have an immense impact on your sense of well-being. And lastly, validation from those your respect and care about (as well as yourself!) can enrich your experience in this life. Certainly leisure, travel, and other activities such as music and art matter as well.

But here’s the thing, the big list above? You’re not going to be able to pie chart it out and give each piece an even slice. You’re not. Nothing is ever in perfect balance. The point of balance is that it is constantly shifting. Think of a time when you’ve stood in a long line. You could not stand in one position or one foot for too long. You have to shift. Balance is much the same in your life. There will be times when work is all-consuming. There will be times when your family is your primary focus. And there will be times when change forces you to adjust and adapt on the fly. Balance is about learning to let go of the things you cannot change and having the courage to change the things you can.

Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.

For a long time, I was focused on perfection. Anything less than an A in school was failing, anything less than first place in sports was losing, anything less than the top spot in business was a sign that we were not successful.

It was flawed thinking.

Luckily, two things happened that changed my approach: I began meeting with mentors who helped me see the world differently and, I was open to change. My mentors knew that I had been trained in the Lean methodology and that it could potentially help me better navigate a so-called balanced life, but I had not fully embraced it and incorporated it into my routine. It involved me being realistic yet empathetic with myself (and therefore others) around expectations involving progress and success.

What did it boil down to? Honestly assessing what I was good at and what I wasn’t. Accepting the things that required help from others and understanding what I could accomplish on my own. More than anything, it was fully understanding that only through collaboration, teamwork, and building trust with others could I manage it all. And manage it well enough. Life and work didn’t have to be perfect. But they could be GOOD.
Are You Ready to Start Your Project?