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Remarkable Leadership with Kevin Eikenberry

The Myth of Work/Life Balance

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Everyone seems to be seeking work/life balance. And no one seems to desire this more than leaders, managers andbusiness woman on tight ropesupervisors.

I doubt there is a person who reads these words that hasn’t or doesn’t struggle with this issue. I’ve been asked about this (a lot) over the years, made some mistakes, learned some things and thought about it (a lot) too. Here is what I have learned, and what I believe to be true:

First, while my business and team are growing and I have “more to do” than ever, I continually make time to take my vacation, perhaps more now than ever. Does this mean I am ignoring my responsibilities and my team? Actually, not at all.

Have I found the perfect balance point?

No.

And neither will you, because that is the wrong goal. The big idea here is that our life is ever-changing, and for that reason we can’t assume that we can find the perfect balancing point.

There is no perfect, unwavering balance point.

Consider the artist on a high wire. They are balancing on a wire, doing something that takes tremendous presence and practice, and they aren’t stationary — they are ever-moving to maintain a balance. This is, I believe, a perfect metaphor for work/life balance.

Don’t try to find the perfect balance point, strive to balance.

One reason there is no perfect balance point is that we go through seasons. If you are in retail, you just went through a season when work, by necessity, was a bigger part of your life; if you are in accounting, that season is upon you now. In other seasons, we may shift more focus to home — as a child is born, a death occurs or other life events warrant.

So think about the season — of the year or of life and recognize that this season will pass, perhaps allowing the shifting of balance toward or away from work or another part of your life.

Lastly, don’t let balance be influenced by people outside of your sphere. You should be thoughtful about this balance with those you care about and with those you work with. Beyond that, know that you are building a balance that works for you that others shouldn’t judge, since they aren’t in your situation.

Strive to balance the most important parts of your life. Talk with those important to you, remember the lessons of the high-wire artist and plan your schedule effectively, and you will be heading in the right direction.

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