Work / Life “Balance” – Merge and Shift your Mindset

I’ve always found it hard to maintain a “work/life balance”.

For most of my life, I thought that work and life had to be separated. Each one was allowed specific time, and you needed to spread the time evenly doing one or the other.

Too much of work, or life, would throw the balance off.

I pictured something like this:

work life balance

But, over time I started realizing that I was building 2 different versions of myself. Like an on/off switch, I would try to be in work mode, or life mode.

What’s worse, I constantly felt bad that one or the other wasn’t being fed enough. During work I would feel bad for having fun, and during my time off I would feel bad that I’m not working hard enough.

Always feeling bad only drove me to separate work and life more and more. Making my ‘balance’ harder to maintain.

Then one day I got an idea…

What if I merged my work and life? Kind of like this:

work life balances

Instead of separating my ideas about work and life, I’m starting to combined them. It’s OK for me to take personal calls during work hours, and enjoy what I do. It’s also OK for me to “work” all weekend if I’m having fun and enjoy what I do.

There’s no on/off switch anymore. It’s on/on. Both work and life are the same thing.

This mindset shift has made me a much happier person. I no longer feel bad about “balance”. I can continue living and working as hard as I like on the things that bring me joy.

Anyway, not sure if this helps you at all… But something to consider next time you feel off balance. Consider merging, not separating work and life.

Happy Sunday!
– Joel