What is balance? A big focus among Millennials in the workplace is the idea of finding work-life balance. But has anyone really addressed what that might mean. This installment of my blog is going to begin a look at this concept.
Let’s get straight to the heart of the matter. We all know what work means. It takes so many forms for so many different people. You get a job, a project or a task and BAM! Time and energy gets consumed. Hopefully this happens for a favorable outcome. However, along the way, stuff happens and the work becomes a problem, likely requiring more time and more energy.
We all understand this facet of our life. So we say we want more balance. What does that mean?
For most people, balance means time; free or sufficient time to devote to relationships, family, sports, hobbies, and pleasure. The list can go on, but the thinking about it is usually centered on having the time to focus on things other than work.
Is that really all there is to it? I think it is helpful to look at the true meaning of balance. Doing a word search brings up these ideas:
1. A state of equilibrium.
2. A leveling of opposing forces
3. An equal measure of components, offsetting the attributes, one to another
4. Positioning of elements
5. An equaling of sums of opposite sides (as in accounting or math equations)
So here’s the first conclusion I find in looking at these and thinking about my average work day: there is no way balance can be static. I mean like some kind of destination. We cannot find balance by saying “I have arrived”. No, balance is a dynamic state. As outside influences change and shift, we need to be constantly and consistently making adjustments so that this idea of balance is achieved.
Think of trying to walk into a strong wind. Just staying upright and moving forward may require adjustments like leaning into it or taking wider steps. Now wouldn’t we look silly walking like that all of the time. Of course we would.
Achieving this work-life balance is the same thing. As forces increase at work or at home, adjustments need to be made so that a better balance can be achieved.
In the next few segments, I am going to be talking about these principles in more detail.