Pocket worthyStories to fuel your mind

Why I Don’t Believe In Work-Life Balance

Treat work as a part of life, not an opposite to be balanced out.

Darius Foroux

Read when you’ve got time to spare.

Do you get drained trying to find a balance between activities in your life and career?

There’s work, promotions, goals, making money on one side of the equation. And on the other side, there’s health, family, friends, holidays, you name it.

Here comes the main challenge: How do you balance everything?

When we talk about work–life balance, we talk about the prioritizing between work related things and lifestyle related things.

What do you do?

  • Chasing career vs settling down
  • Taking risk vs being conservative
  • Chasing money vs intrinsic rewards
  • Working vs resting
  • Giving vs taking
  • Thinking of yourself vs others
  • Spending time with family vs friends

Deciding seems impossible. Result? Stress, worry, anxiety.

Research even shows that people who believe they don’t have time for their personal life, feel drained and distracted at work.

Recently I was talking to one my friends. He and his wife recently had their second baby. And he was saying how he struggled with balance when they had their first child. But now, he decided to simplify things.

Ninety percent of his time goes to family, work, and himself. All the other things in life he ignores. No balance. All or nothing in a few areas.

And I’m exactly the same. I don’t think balance is a good strategy.

A pragmatic view.

Let’s look at this work-life balance situation.

Let’s say you have 9–5 job. But you want to be in the office by 8.30am. So you leave the house at 7.30am. You want to leave early and you finish up work at 5.30pm. It’s 6.30pm before you get home.

That whole work aspect of your day takes 10 hours in that scenario, which is not uncommon. Let’s say you sleep 7 hours. That gives you 17 waking hours.

That means you spend 59 percent of your time on work related things.

There goes your balance.

Plus, we spend most of our free time thinking, worrying, and talking about work.

It’s safe the say there’s no such thing as a work-life balance.

You see? Work is life.

  • If work is holding back your personal or spiritual growth, find different work.
  • If work is fucking up your relationships, again, find different work.

Don’t make things harder for yourself. 

You don’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to have it all.

To me, there are only a few important things. My health, having good relationships, and that’s about it. It’s pretty easy to balance that.

We spend too much time balancing things we don’t need in our lives. That turns our life into a circus act.

Balance only makes life complicated. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t mind complicated things. I like math and econometrics.

But I don’t like it when people complicate very simple things. Work-life balance is only an issue if you turn it into one. And why do you even need to balance a thousand things?

Henry David Thoreau said it best:

“Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand.”

If you oversimplify your life, and decide what your life is exactly about—you will find there are only a few priorities that matter.

You don’t need to do everything. It’s fine if you only have time for a few things in life.

Don’t worry. Don’t balance. Simplify.

How was it? Save stories you love and never lose them.

This post originally appeared on Darius Foroux and was published October 20, 2016. This article is republished here with permission.

Darius Foroux writes about productivity, habits, decision making, and personal finance.

Join his newsletter.