The article below offers good perspective. However, I disagree with the idea that most experts preach a “having it all” approach to balance. In my opinion, balance is about being present, making choices about what you are doing everyday, and not simply reacting to what the day throws at you.
There are many new terms emerging to replace “work-life balance.” Cali Williams Yost promotes “work-life fit”; Cathy Benko opts for the similar term “career-life fit;” Catalyst advocates for “work-life effectiveness;” Jodie Benveniste created the phrase “work-family flow;” and Paul Nyhan favors “work-family rhythm.” I think that what we call it, simply doesn’t matter. Most people already know and use the term “work-life balance,” so why waste our time trying to teach them a new term?
We need to focus on teaching them that “work-life balance” doesn’t necessarily mean that you spend exactly 50 percent of your time on each one. It doesn’t mean “having it all,” and it certainly doesn’t mean “comparing ourselves to others.” Having balance means that you are making time for the things that matter most. It means having well thought-out goals (for your work and personal lives) and ensuring that the activities you spend time on each day are moving you a step closer to your goals. It means living a life with purpose, and not simply reacting or “putting out fires” all day long.
For some people (many mom-preneurs with young children), that might mean that your point of balance is spending 70% of your time focusing on your home/family activities and 30% of your time focusing on work. For others, it might mean the exact opposite. The point is that your “balance” is completely personal, but it does require some thought and planning. And yes, maybe it does mean that you have to “add it to your to-do list,” but the payoff is well worth it. According to Dave Kohl, professor emeritus at Virginia Tech, “people who regularly write down their goals earn nine times as much over their lifetimes as people who don’t. And yet, 80 percent of Americans say that they don’t have goals.”
I completely agree when the author says, “Maybe balance, like success, isn’t something we can obtain or achieve, but something that we feel within ourselves, in our soul, in the essence of our being. Maybe balance is about spending as much time as possible in those places and activities that bring out our best and truest self.”