Thoughts on Balance

For many, the concept of balance is an elusive thing (in spite of the many things written about it); particularly between work and personal life.

The idea is that you are to maintain moments where your personal life is not blended with anything from work bleeding into that life and the same would apply for work. For this reason people burn themselves out with how to manage the 24 hours we all get from day-to-day.

As if they should be the same number.

What I’ve learned in the last three years of trying to balance this out is that balance is less about doing everything the same way or giving the same amount of time to things, but more about the concept of enough.

My work needs enough time, not 6, 8, or 10 hours. My personal life needs enough time, not 12 hours or a week. Maybe a better idea than pure balance – which by its nature implies some kind of symmetry, is harmony.

The amount of time I need to clean my room – ever – is 20 minutes. 20 whole minutes… when it is its absolute messiest. Imagine if I tried to take the same amount of time to clean my room as I did to work. Imagine if I gave my social life the amount of time that I give to cleaning my room.

It wouldn’t go well.

Not everything in our lives has to be treated the same, given the same level of care, or priority. Some things can be less attention and be fine. Other things need more. The difference between balance and burnout, honestly, is just awareness of your life and what is in it. If you know that, you can start to notice what “enough” is for each of those things and act accordingly.

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