Work/Life Balance Isn’t What You Think It Is

If you’re stressed at a job you don’t like you might fantasize about moving to the Caribbean and having chickens in your bathroom.

But even if you prefer your bathrooms poultry-free, there’s no doubt you want less time at your stressful and boring job.

That’s not to say you don’t have ambitions.

I’m sure you’re interested in doing a lot of  things. Perhaps you’d like to write a book. Or become a good sales manager. Maybe you’d like to run a marathon.

Heck, maybe you dream of saving the world, even.

It’s not that you’re afraid of work, it’s that you are too busy doing the wrong kind of work. And that drains the life out of you.

Work Life Balance

Having work-life balance isn’t about figuring out clever ways to sneak out of the office before it’s time to leave.

That strategy usually backfires anyway because you end up stressing yourself out with worry that you’re going to be found out. It’s just not worth it.

Work-life balance as we use it now is like the spoonful of sugar Mary Poppins used to make the medicine go down. Your work is only tolerable because you have the good stuff – life – to look forward to.

But what if work wasn’t such a bitter pill?

Work That Puts Life Into You

Instead of work that sucks the life out of you and then needing to recuperate with a vacation or fantasies about dropping out of society and resurfacing as a super-spy, maybe you could find work that puts life into you instead.

Your work-life balance would feel a lot more balanced, wouldn’t it?

But where do you even start?

While the process of moving from your current job to a job you love might take some time, getting started doesn’t.

Here’s what you can do today to get you moving closer to the work-life balance you need by putting more life into your work:

1. Make a commitment to yourself that you are going to find work you love. Write it down on a piece of paper or say it out loud to a friend. For bonus points, give yourself a time limit for staying at your crummy job.

Once you’ve made a commitment to do something different, the reality of that will help you shift everything – from your mindset to decisions you make about your future.

2. Start to change your beliefs about not being able to do what you want for a living. Again, write down 10 or more things you may believe about doing work you love.

Things like, “No one will ever pay me to launch people’s lunches off rooftops with mini-parachutes that float their sandwiches down the sidewalk.” (See what you can get paid to do?!)

Once those are written, begin to challenge those beliefs with critical questions. Questions like, “Why not?” or “Is there some way I could look at my business idea differently and make money?”

3. Get support for your journey. The road to greater work-life balance and work you care about can be hard. Gather the troops. Call friends, family members, even people in your professional network who you believe will offer support and tell them about what you’re thinking about. You don’t have to give them details. Just tell them you’ve made a commitment to find work you love. Include your target date if you set one.

The more support you get the more likely it is that you’ll follow through with your commitment to yourself.

Life Should = Fun

A life that excites you whether you’re at home or at work is what you’re really aiming for, not a life where you can just minimize the pain.

Give yourself that gift by taking these first three steps now.

Why are you waiting?




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