QWork Life Balance

answered April 18th, 2011 by Phoebe Wright

For some reason, I found these to be incredibly difficult questions.  First,  I have to ask myself “What do people mean when they say Work/Life Balance”?    It seems to me, people mean different things.  Is WLB (as I’ll call it) a sort of a stand in for feeling calm and not frazzled.  Sort of a Shangri-La where promotions roll in and kids are well adjusted and happy.  Can’t you just hear the birds chirping and feel the sun lightly on your skin?  Or is WLB something you get when you are operating at peak efficiency, juggling and catching all the balls, time management systems operating at a steady hum.  Or is WLB related to your values and what’s important to you?  Or is it about keeping other people — kids, spouses, parents, pets, bill collectors, teachers, doctors, tax collectors, financial planners, coaches — happy?  Is it about being able to have room for new relationships and adventures in your life?  Am I over thinking this?  I think not.  Because to me the issue is not balancing between two things work and life.  Work is part of life.  Life is complex.



What are your strategies for dealing with lack of time?


I am constantly revisiting what is important to me and doing that without trying to do anything secondary.  It’s been a very long road to get to where I am now.  I am also trying to leave space for life to happen — something that is really working for me.  A friend told me that she had a Feng Shui expert come and look at her office.  She was basically told to empty it to allow important things to come in.  That really hit home with me.



What doesn’t work or is difficult for you to do?


I used to be extremely structured.  This helped me be effective in a corporate executive role and was really good when I started my business for keeping me moving forward.  I’ve backed off from tight time management these days as I’m going through a big transition — widowhood, about to be an empty nester, new relationship, elder care, starting a writing career — and I need more flexibility.  Too much structure creates stress for me and is not really necessary.



What are your most profound conflicts in terms of work-life balance?



I have found that figuring out where I want to focus my energies is a profound challenge for me these days.  I’m in the mode of seeing where the river of opportunities takes me rather than being goal focused.   The challenge is to be very clear on values and very flexible on limits or boundaries.



Thanks for the great questions.








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