The phrase "work-life balance" seems to imply that work and life are in balance.
If one imagines an old-fashioned scale, that would mean work is on the one side, and everything else about yourself on the other side - your friends, hobbies, family, relationships, beliefs, sports, etc. It hardly seems like a balance and really points out our obsession with work.
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Our culture glorifies work. Social media show people working long hours and then turn to their side hustle after hours. It's easy to feel you should find your meaning in life at work and that you should constantly work harder.
But we don't have to chase work. We can put work in its proper place and use our free time for something else. While work can be personally meaningful to you, it can also just be a thing you sometimes do. It's not about balance - it's about keeping things in perspective.
Loving your job often means that you may be working more. It's harder to stop when you care.
It's deceptive to think that remote work means that you can start and stop whenever you want. Bloomberg reported that people who started working from home since the beginning of the pandemic are working three hours longer per day.
This is one of the most important stories in our culture. You're supposed to start at the bottom and work your way toward the top.
If you want to move up in the ladder, you are most welcome, but it should not be an imposition, a mandatory race for everyone.
We all need uninterrupted work time every day, regardless of our role. Unbroken work makes us more motivated and focused. Yet uninterrupted calendar blocks are hard to design into a schedule.
We can't productively attend to meeting-heavy days while also spending hours on uninterrupted work time. We need to manage our expectations about what we can accomplish.
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