Daily Tip: Forget Life-Work Balance

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Workplace advisors have spent the past several years beating the proverbial drum about the need to achieve a good “work-life balance.” And on paper, such a thing certainly sounds like a solution for all the ills of modern life: Who wouldn’t want to split time equally between family and work obligations, with at least some time set aside every week for fun?

The problem is that proper work-life balance isn’t really achievable for most people. “If you’re an executive, manager, or professional with a demanding job, you’re about as likely to find balance as you are to be a purple unicorn,” executive coach Scott Eblin told Fast Company in a recent interview.

So what’s the solution? According to Eblin, it’s rhythm: Choose to focus on work on certain days, then shift to devote more time to home or hobbies on others. Respect the borders between work and the rest of your life; make sure that you have a literal off button (for your devices) as well as a metaphorical one (don’t even think about taking work-related phone calls during dinner). Startup entrepreneurs may crow about the benefits of slamming down the gas and abandoning human concerns in order to create a more perfect company, but nobody can maintain that sort of extreme speed forever—it’s all about the pacing.

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7 Responses to “Daily Tip: Forget Life-Work Balance”

    • Kabong MeNow

      For all you Workers with Exempt( Salary plus unpaid overtime) make sure to keep accurate hourly records of that overtime hours and then submit a real claim through the Labor board. You will be surprised, You might just get paid .

  1. Hopefully you folks at dice will provide more details on the sad reality.
    that while CEO-like executives have a demanding job, their annual bonus equals
    in some cases at decade worth of a programmer worth of annual salaries…

    This is not the same.

  2. Unfortunately, a lot of companies today expect a certain amount of overtime. I have been an aerospace engineer for the last 20 years and it has only gotten worse. The big major companies hiring today expect between 10-20 hrs extra without pay, indefinitely. My last few companies expected at least 1-2 hrs a day extra (and they tracked it). My pay definitely did NOT reflect this extra time (nor any bonus, flex time, raise or other compensation).

    There are more than a few examples of friends and family working extreme hours and when any big life event happened, they were reprimanded and/or let go.

  3. So…Instead of balance they use the word pace… Lol. Same difference. If it works better for you to work several days then be off and so on that is still finding a balance. Balance is not the same for everyone.