Stop Trying to Balance Your Life and Learn Work + Life Harmony
Work-life balance. Work-life integration. We hear the phrases all the time, every one of them promising that you will find a way to do your work and live your life and run into the sunset with a perfect paleo meal for your family.
Thanks, I hate it.
Why Harmony Makes More Sense than Balance
I feel like, especially for women, “balance” indicates that you split time equally between everything you have to do. If you manage to get your work done and do something for yourself, you better do something with your kids. Otherwise, you fail as a mother, and they will surely turn to drugs. When they’re interviewed about where it all went wrong, they’ll name the time you took a bubble bath and didn’t take them to the fair instead.
Balance means women particularly have to take on extra work, which isn’t fair. It also encourages multi-tasking, which is a good concept when done well. Most of the time, it’s done poorly; you failing at doing 18 tasks simultaneously is not a success. It’s an express ticket to burn-out; it depletes brain energy. Science.
Balance also implies reciprocity; if you spend 1 hour taking a workout class, you owe an hour to cleaning, cooking, etc. Ew.
We don’t need a balanced life…we need a HARMONIOUS life. That’s why I’m a fan of work-life HARMONY. Think of it in terms of an orchestra. All the instruments don’t play at the same time the entire song. None of it is balanced or equal; instead, the focus is on where attention is needed, which may even mean conducting just one instrument at times. But that makes the song work.
You Can’t Do Everything and That’s OK
With TOP, you’ll stop trying to fit everything in and “balancing” all the things. And you’ll be empowered in your boundaries to say yes OR no to extra work depending on how you’re feeling.
Because you’re less stressed and burnt out, when you inevitably have bad days, they don’t seem quite so bad. Because you’re no longer just surviving; you’re producing and resting, and it feels great.
Bring on the harmony.