The problem with work-life balance: it's actually a rollercoaster - Ness Labs - Deepstash

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A work-life balance

A work-life balance

The concept of a work-life balance suggests that work and life are two separate entities that need to be kept equal. Historically, labour was a necessary struggle and was seen as a means for sustenance and survival. It is no wonder that work is seen in a negative light.

But what about creative work or intellectual work? When we research a topic out of curiosity, is this unpaid work?

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Work-life balance is an outdated vision

  • Work and life are not strictly separated. If you are happy at home, you bring a huge amount of energy to the office. If you're happy at work, you come home with energy. It is really a circle, not a balance.
  • Your work is not just a job. You may find genuine joy in your work.
  • Your work may just be a job to pay the bills.
  • You may not want to achieve a work-life balance.
  • Work-life balance assumes a limited definition of work.
  • Work-life balance is a myth.

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The alternative to a work-life balance

Instead of feeling ashamed because you cannot maintain a work-life balance, realise that it is an illusion that can't be achieved.

The alternative is to embrace the unexpected, accept that some periods of your life will be filled with work, and other times it may be leisurely. Sometimes work will be dull, and sometimes it will feel energising. You may have a job just to pay the bills, and another time you may find the perfect job.

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