Let’s Be Honest About WorkLife Balance

by grantdee on March 8, 2011

Let’s Be Honest About WorkLife Balance

By Donovan Grant

 "Life's demands may not slow up any time soon, and learning life balance is an ongoing art. If you think one day you will get it all done, and then you can relax, you are bound to be disappointed."

Christina Winsey-Rudd – Author

The results are in. Work-life balance is for everybody! The question is does it really exist? It doesn’t really seem possible for us to have an equal amount of time at work as we do at home. Sometimes you need more time at work to get that project finished; and the case for many of us we need more time at home to share quality time with the family.

The truth is work-life balance is different for all of us. And one thing for sure is that one person’s balance is another person’s worst nightmare. So, why are we hearing about work-life balance so often these days. What’s changed?

Well we all know that the traditional family life has moved on from just 5, 10 or even 20 years ago.

Just for starters… some families are no longer able to live comfortably on one salary so mums are choosing to work rather than stay home to raise the children; dads are working longer hours to keep their job status so they return home stressed and in no mood to play; and our young people are graduating from university and they have no prospect of jobs to go to. The traditional way of life is not the same so it makes sense that our needs for balance are not the same.

Oh and by the way, life balance is not just for families; the same can be said for couples or single people too. Couples want to spend more cuddle time together instead of keeping in touch via the Blackberry; Young men want to meet up with their buddies for a social event and young ladies are eager to get back in time to make the body pump class at the local gym. Everybody has got a reason to live a balanced life.

Here’s something that I have discovered during my research…Work life balance is not simply having enough time off work to do fun stuff.

It takes more than having more time off to make people happy. Well for me and a few colleagues I spoke to at the office work life balance is about keeping things in alignment with who you are and what you value dearly. These are four things that we agreed were important:

1. The desire to raise a loving family that cherishes honesty, difference, understanding and growth in each other.

2. The need to maintain a healthy, mind, body and spirit so that you can fulfil various roles in life.

3. It is important to earn a healthy financial position so you are able to contribute beyond just your own family.

4. The need to enjoy an interesting and forward moving career and/or business where you make a difference for the people we serve.

Now these are top level topics (I am going to expand on these in future posts) that are cornerstones of our lives. When we have a semblance of balance in these areas life feels great. Just like it is for me now!

Now you’re probably thinking, how do I get those four aspects all balance? Or some of you may be thinking is this just looking through rose tinted glasses?

Please note that this is not talking about getting all your ducks lined up in a row here. It’s about a sensible feel good factor. As it happens, I personally chased perfection for 10 solid years in my life and I discovered that perfection is overrated. I was constantly looking for imperfections!

The type of balance that I am talking about is where life as a whole is good and more importantly you are in control. What this means is that you are willing to take responsibility for all your results. Come rain or shine. The good, the bad and the ugly!

The law of rhythm states that “What goes up must come down.” And conversely it will go up again. So, it’s really about staying on track with your dreams come what may.

A quick question for you. . . On a scale of 1 – 10, how do you score yourself on your personal work-life balance?

Now I hope that it was easy for you to answer that question. If it wasn’t it could be that you’ve never taken the time out to give yourself a check up. My friend, you owe it to yourself to know where you are at in life. Socrates once said that “an unexamined life isn’t worth living.”

What did Socrates mean by that? Maybe he was saying that we have to know ourselves. You need to be aware of what makes you tick; what you like and dislike; what are you goals and dreams; what are your life values; what are your career plans. And the list goes on. . . the point is that it pays to take a look at your life on a regular basis to see if you are on track with your vision.

What’s your honest opinion on work life balance?

Grab a pen and your journal and make a few notes about what it really means to you. Remember this- work-life balance is for everybody!

Please add a comment below to share your view on what work-life balance means to you. Do it now!

PS. Look out for the next article in this series on work-life balance.

I believe in you and I am grateful to you for allowing us to serve you each and everyday!


Donovan Grant is a "Honest and True Step By Step Work-life balance and Career Coach. His systems help the average career changer as well as high flier get extra-ordinary results quickly. www.donovangrant.com.

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  • Michele M Tremblay

    I think I need to do some work in this area. Thanks Donovan for the great article.

  • Thank you, Donovan, for challenging us to dig into what motivates us and keeps us going for the long haul! One thing that has always stuck with me, in learning to balance everything is a “personal rhythm” – like you said, everyone is different! Not comparing myself to someone else but sticking to a personal rhythm (thru trial and error) has worked the best for me, although I have so much more to learn and apply!! Thanks for motivating us!

  • Sue Graber

    You definitely have gotten me thinking about where I am in all this. Looking forward to further posts where you help give us ideas on being balanced in all four areas.. Very exciting to know that by being in balance ourselves, we will have the ability to make a difference in the lives of others.

  • Thanks Michele, that sounds like a download!

  • Susan, personal rhythm sums it up nicely!

  • Hey Sue, I am pleased that it’s got you thinking and I know for sure that you are way up there on making a difference in the lives of others!

  • I appreciated your explaining what Socrates meant by that quote. You got me thinking. I am reading Eat That Frog, and I love how it says our work is like the waves of the ocean rolling in, it is never ending. Your article was so in tune with that and how we have to analyze ourselves. Excellent article Donovan!

  • Yes – you are right, there will never be time when ‘all your ducks will be lined up in a row here’, as we are multidimentional beings and focus our energy on different things from time to time, it’s good to listen to our bodies and feelings to be in alignment with what is.

  • Annie

    I have come to learn that sometimes one thing is in balance while yet another is a little off. There are times when you JUST have to concentrate on one aspect to be able to give something else a chance to get done, and get done well. I love the times when the stars align and everything is balanced, but it is rare. So I just try and roll with it and not worry about being perfect, just taking care of priorities properly!

  • james samy

    Hi Donovan,

    Thank you for sharing how to balance-up life. Learned new things from you and appreciated. Always be here to learn and keep in mind your sharing

  • Alisa

    as a working mom, wife, housekeeper, chef, entrepreneur – I’ve just given up on the idea of balance. I go for a target, and if I make .333 like the great hitters in baseball – that’s good enough for me.
    I guess i get my balance from listening to my heart . WHen I am feeling burnt out, I schedule me time.

  • Kathy

    Good article Donovan! I love how you pointed out that when you were striving for perfection you were constantly focusing on your imperfections. It’s no wonder we feel miserable when we are always trying to be perfect! Good job!

  • Donovan, loved post. I loved your explanation of Socrates. I believe we do have to recognize our limits and it is not the same for all. Even the balance can be seen by different eyes ever under the same rooftop. Being aware to evaluate ourselves on a regular basis I believe can help us see how the “work-life balance” is measuring up for us and the season we are in during our evolving time.

  • Donovan, loved post. I loved your explanation of Socrates. I believe we do have to recognize our limits and it is not the same for all. Even the balance can be seen by different eyes ever under the same rooftop. Being aware to evaluate ourselves on a regular basis I believe can help us see how the “work-life balance” is measuring up for us and the season we are in during our evolving time.

  • Donovan, loved post. I loved your explanation of Socrates. I believe we do have to recognize our limits and it is not the same for all. Even the balance can be seen by different eyes ever under the same rooftop. Being aware to evaluate ourselves on a regular basis I believe can help us see how the “work-life balance” is measuring up for us and the season we are in during our evolving time.

  • Donovan, loved post. I loved your explanation of Socrates. I believe we do have to recognize our limits and it is not the same for all. Even the balance can be seen by different eyes ever under the same rooftop. Being aware to evaluate ourselves on a regular basis I believe can help us see how the “work-life balance” is measuring up for us and the season we are in during our evolving time.

  • Thanks Elvie. Brian Tracy is one of my favourite author’s too, we’ll have to exchange notes on eat that frog!

  • Solvita, “listening to our bodies and feelings” is a great way to put it. Thanks!

  • Annie, I love the way you mention “roll with it and worry about being perfect”. This is also the transition that I came to realise. Thanks for sharing

  • James, I think that we all learn from each other and I apprecite your feedback my friend.

  • Alisa, listening to your heart is powerful. When we practice thiswe definitely learn more about what we can achieve.

  • Kathy, thanks for the feedback. Keep moving forward

  • Hey Carol, keep pushing those limits and enjoying the different seasons of the journey.

  • Donovan, you have me thinking again in this post. Work-life balance is difficult at times. For me it’s been about using the time I have well and staying focused so, I can work hard and play hard. Looking forward to the next in the series, bro.

  • Thanks Antoine, I agree with you that when we focus it opens up more opportunites for us to work and play!

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