Work / Life balance is extinct

Think back to a time when your grandparents were in their prime. How did it look? There were no computers, no cell phones, no email, no social media. They did their jobs (including any overtime) and when they got home, they were able to switch off completely. No-one from the office was trying to email or WhatsApp them. There were no social media posts that they needed to upload or update. They were spending time with their families and getting to pursue their hobbies. They had their work/ life balance waxed. 

Fast forward to 2021 and we’re almost always contactable. To be on top of our game and drive company growth we often feel that colleagues and clients need to be able to contact us whenever they like. So when we talk about work/ life balance in the 21st century, it looks completely different, and can be super stressful.

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

At Credo Growth we’ve adopted the term work/ life integration instead. Let me explain why:

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

If we back track for a minute, what picture comes to mind when you think of the word balance? I always see a scale, where you must put equal amounts of weight on both sides to create balance. It’s a constant juggling act, where you’re just waiting for one of the balls to drop.

With work/ life integration we acknowledge that there are different aspects of our lives constantly asking for our time and attention at any given moment. Just acknowledging this is the first step to lessening the stress that you put yourself under. 

We are in a new era where employers are starting to understand burnout and the effect that it has on their business. If you look at the stats, 79% of employees believe flexibility at work promotes a more integrated life. And what is stopping us from creating this integration anyway? The Grand Canyon University highlighted that 32.8% of people believe that it is our own perfectionism which prevents us from creating this integrated life that we want. 

So here are 3 tips to move towards work/ life integration, and let go of striving for balance: 

  1. Use a tool to help you visualise the gaps in your life  – I personally enjoy using the life wheel to understand where my attention is going and what is needing work. If you would like to learn about the life wheel you can find it on our free virtual learning offering.
  2. Take a look at how much time you want to spend in each area of your life. Imagine each area is a segment of a pie chart and then create your “wishlist” pie chart with actions or calendar entries to make that wishlist happen.
  3. Use technology to help you. What do you need help with and what app can you use to meet this need?

Curious to learn more? Get in touch for a free 10-minute consultation to learn how we can help you achieve work/ life integration.