What happens when the work/life balance swings too far...


I'm a big believer in getting the work/life balance right, I always have been and a career in the Military helped me achieve it for more than 23 years.

Then came summer 2013; I was into my second year of running my own business, (InSpiralCoaching) and like most people working on their own with no real structure or set hours, I was struggling with the guilt of not being busy when I had no reason to be. In my mind I should be head down, arse up from dawn till dusk - after all, how could I ever succeed if I wasn't at my desk 80+ hours a week!

So I did what I had to and got done what needed to be done but I spent many hours looking longingly out of the window as the beautiful weather passed me by, convinced in my own mind that I was far too busy to actually take time off to enjoy life. Instead of loving the hike and the bonding time, walking my dog was just an escape from my desk - but only if I had my headphones on, studying as I went. I'd beat myself about how little I would achieve some days, and when I did succeed it was never enough. All the things I love about living here in the summer; hiking and mountain biking with Meli, (the aforementioned pup), paddle boarding our myriad local lakes and long days of motorcycling ended up taking a back seat. So when I looked back at the end of summer I started to wonder what it was all about; where had it gone?

We're limited to our time on this amazing planet and at 50 I figured I wasn't far off half way through mine - I only have another 50 or so summers left in me... So I vowed that come this summer there was no way I wasn't going to live it to the full, come what may! I'd tipped the balance to one extreme and (purely in the interest of research you understand!) I was determined to go check out the other end of the scale and not miss a thing. Thankfully I'd taken on a bit of part time work helping out at Urban Harvest last winter so I couldn't completely escape the real world - I had some structured commitments in my week!

So I'm happy to say I took on this summer with a vengeance and dragged (?! - yeah right!) my long suffering wife with me. Long motorcycling trips were arranged starting with a five day expedition with friends, we went camping on undiscovered, (to us) islands, hiking, cycling and paddle boarding were regular activities and fitness was at an all time high. We went to classical concerts and music festivals. I snuck in a 4 day trip to ride my bike around a track and we even managed a two week trip to visit friends and family in SoCal, catching up with two friends I went to online 'school' with and another we'd not seen for almost 10 years. Did my business suffer? probably. Did my finances suffer? definitely. Was it worth it? abso-frickin-lutely...!

It's called balance right? So whether we tip the scales lightly each way or we set them rocking like a ship in a gale it's no good just looking at the here and now. We need to look at the bigger picture over a greater period of time and see how well it balances. Work 100 hour weeks if you need to to but don't forget to add in some 'let's go crazy' time to make up for it - and don't feel guilty about doing it; no one's judging you - unless they are in which case they don't matter!

Who knows; maybe next year I'll get it right, maybe not. Like the rest of us, I'm just a work in progress :-)

2 comments :

  1. If you do not understand the Meaning of Work Life Balance, then you will definitely face some problem. So maintain the work life balance in your life. It's not so much difficult, but follow some rules is always advantageous.

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