The Balancing Act

The Balancing Act
Claudette Pelletier-Hannah

Everyone’s talking about work/life balance. We all want it. What is it anyway? Now with the new work-at-home approach for many the lines, if there are lines, are even blurrier.

If you’re new to working at home you might have noticed the need for lines/boundaries between work, personal time and space is even more vital and challenging, especially with children in the picture. Keep the faith.

Here’s what work/life balance isn’t. It isn’t (and never was) working 9 – 5 then collapsing on the couch. It’s also not filling every minute of your day. Stressing about work when you’re not working is not work/life balance either.

Most of us have to work, but ‘life’ shouldn’t stop or start there. Personally, I don’t like the term work/life balance. It seems to suggest that work is distinct from life or living. How bleak. It should be about balance in all aspects of your life. If there is no ‘life’ in it then that isn’t work/life balance either. Let’s call it work/play balance.

A 50/50 work/play split would be nice. Many of us are more likely in the 70/30 or even 90/10 range. In truth, we never really land anywhere in perfect balance. It’s more like a continuum where we move from side to side. When our work is fulfilling or playful we’re in the best place of all. Maybe it doesn’t even feel like a split!

What you do for fun is integral. How about passions and pleasures? Have you got enrichment, relaxation and contribution covered? Think in terms of small bits of time if that’s all you’ve got. Don’t wait for spare time. Just take time for what matters to you.

Work/Play balance just might be a concept you can sell to your kids. Actually, they’ve done it all along and have probably been trying to teach you.

The ideal is to create a life that includes the right amount of work and play, whatever those things mean to you. If you’ve got a spring in your step and a song in your heart you know you’re doing it right. If not, keep trying. It’s summer – ripe with opportunity to initiate play.