Having it all – we all want to have it all. Don’t we?
These days, it seems like people are “busier” than ever. Consequently, the idea of having it all and the hope of work-life balance sometimes seem like just a myth.
We rush here and rush there, trying to have it all – trying to do it all. We blaze through work so we can spend time in the gym. We push through our workout at the gym with scorching intensity so we can get home and spend time with our family.
Then, we cram in as much quality time as we can with our loved ones so we can have a smidge of free time for ourselves before we go to bed and wake to start it all again.
We are essentially powering through our daily lives – all under the guise of obtaining work-life balance – of having it all.
Yet, in this pursuit of balanced living, we are barely taking a moment of rest or respite in between the areas of our life we are attempting to balance.
The belief is often that being busy will help us accomplish more and get to the “end” faster so we can relax and enjoy all the fruits of all this effort at some point.
Ultimately, one of the main reasons we chase work-life balance is we believe a balanced life will help us to be happy or be happier. Yet, a common complaint is that despite all we are doing to do more, we are really not any happier with our lives than before.
And so work-life balance becomes no more than a buzz phrase that sounds good but really, means little to our overall wellbeing.
So, is it a myth? Is work-life balance attainable? Or is it merely something we just say – something we talk about – to convince ourselves that our busy-ness is “worth it”?
Maybe we should look at “busy-ness” as an illness…
When you go to the doctor with a problem, what is the first thing that happens? He or she will go over your symptoms – talk with you about what is going wrong with your health – and attempt to make a diagnosis. Once the diagnosis has been made, a solution can be considered.
In any scientific field, the first step to a solution is identifying the problem. This is really no different than how we should approach the “illness of busy-ness” in our lives.
Why are we so busy? What are the symptoms our busy-ness is creating? How is it affecting other “systems” in our life (our relationships, our ability to be happy, our broader health)?
Again, as in the scientific fields, once you identify the problem, it’s really not that hard to find a solution.
In general, most people really don’t understand the problems busy-ness is creating and then they can’t get clear on why they are so busy in the first place.
What is it you really want and why are you so busy in the first place?
The unfortunate truth is that we wander a lot in our lives. We simply do instead of considering why we are doing and the outcomes we desire. Instead, we just take whatever outcomes we get.
All to often, the outcome of busy-ness is just more busy-ness.
So think about this…
What is your goal for being so busy? What are you really trying to accomplish? Where are you trying to get? What would happen if you skipped to that end goal, now?
If your goal is to achieve greater work life balance, make that decision NOW.
Not when everything else is “finished” – not when you are “done” being busy. Make the goal balanced living first and then let the other busy work fill in between. Decide what work life balance – and being happy – looks like for you and then make that the very first priority.
Often, the best treatment for some illnesses is prevention. When you make the decision about how a balanced life is going to look for you – and you make that your focus first and let everything else fall in place around that plan – you will very likely prevent the busy-illness from ever creeping up on you again.