067 – Stop searching for work-life balance – it’s a myth
And what you need instead
In this episode we talk about that illusive concept – work-life balance. My guest, John Drury, says that not only is it a myth, but searching for it can really be quite harmful. Trying to be everything to everyone can leave us feeling drained and unfulfilled. But there is a healthy alternative – integration. Finding a way to integrate the important parts of your life so that they are not competing, but complimenting…and it all starts with purpose!
John’s journey to integrate all the parts of his life was a very difficult one. John had been a successful musician and business person. He eventually started his own church which grew quickly. Over the next twenty years he was busy helping people while ignoring himself and his marriage. His relationship eventually ended. He ended up alone and broke and had to ask himself how he got there. That led him to his new career as a business mentor in which he wanted to pass on the lessons he learned about what is important in life. He outlines those lessons in the new book Integrate: Why Work-Life Balance Is a Myth, and What You Really Need to Create a Fulfilling Lifestyle
Your phone is your enemy
We are constantly distracted by our phones. The smartphone allows us to multitask constantly but the work we are doing is of lower and lower quality. There has been conclusive research recently about the addictive nature of smartphones. We have to be prepared to switch off in order to break the habit. It’s exactly like making the choice to not eat junk food. Avoid it at all costs.
Know when to scale back
It’s not a bad thing to love your work. It’s great for giving people a sense of purpose. The problem is managing the other aspects of your life. There comes a point where you can’t have it all at once. You’re going to kill yourself or kill you marriage trying to do that. You have to make a choice to scale back or to get help with the home or your business.
Work/Life Balance is a myth
The history of the term comes from the quest of a shorter working week in the early 20th century. The shorter working week allowed for more time to devote to other things than work. For those people that are driven the idea of stopping is difficult. Being a workaholic became a pejorative. Instead of work/life balance John advocates for integration instead.
If you can’t lead yourself you forfeit your right to lead others. Self-leadership requires self-respect. You have to respect yourself to know what your values are and be courageous enough to lead them. No one else can give you self-respect. So many people end up being reactive rather than proactive. You have to take control of your day rather than letting it control you.
If you respect yourself enough you will take care of yourself. When you look after yourself you are going to be better able to take care of others. Do you keep your appointments for yourself? Are you taking that walk you planned on? What about going to the gym. Keep your appointments for yourself first. Then worry about others.
Know your priorities and knowing how to live them is the key to self-management. You need good organization of your day to achieve your goals. You have to put in place the systems or structures to help you to succeed.