Believe it or not, the topic of work-life balance can be quite controversial. It’s a concept that can seem almost impossible to attain, so some people regard it as a myth: “a pie in the sky” idea of sorts. As surprising as it seems, work-life balance is very much attainable, and my personal experience is a testament to that.
This concept is the best thing since sliced bread. Honestly, why would anyone oppose work-life balance? Studies show that many believe you just have to lean in, roll up your sleeves, and live your life as it comes. That actually works for some! However, it did not work for me. In my eyes, what you get out of life depends on what you choose to focus on. If your focus is to live life without a blueprint, that’s a decision you’re entitled to make. This is not an all-around approach that works for everyone, though.
Work-life balance does not have to have a fixed definition. You make it as flexible as you want it to be, but people place their own limits on it. One of the most rigid definitions I have heard is that work-life balance means that life has to be equally divided between your work and your home/personal relationships. I can see why anyone who defines work-life balance this way doesn’t think it’s realistic. The opportunity in work-life balance that often gets ignored is the ability to design the balanced life that works specifically for the individual in order to experience the best quality of life.
In my case, for instance, I was going through life without much planning or prioritizing prior to having children. When I became a mother, I realized that living life without a plan was not effectively sustaining my family and something had to change. The first step involved looking deep within to determine what my priorities were so that they would be reflected in my daily life. This is one of the backbones of work-life balance, and it continues to help me in maintaining my lifestyle today.
If you ever thought to yourself, “there’s got to be a better way to live life,” or if you know your current way of life can be improved, then you are reading the right article. You are not alone because I used to feel the same way. Start taking note of your top priorities and goals and make sure you structure your life around them. It’s time to enjoy more of the things that bring you joy! It is time to become intentional about your life: choose whether you want to accept the things and circumstances that drain your energy; or whether you want to avoid them to preserve your energy for what’s important to you. It’s all about you and what you want. Take a moment to examine your life and make the decision to do more of the things that illuminate you. That is what work-life balance is all about.
So you see, work-life balance seems too good to be true, but it is as real as it gets. No myths, no fables.
Nana Korsah is a nephrologist and can be reached at MD Work & Life Balance.
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