If you struggle to find balance between work and life, stop. You don’t need it. Here’s what you should do instead.
Everyone talks about the importance of work-life balance, but balance is precarious. Picture a see-saw. You spend 50 percent of your time on work and 50 percent enjoying your life. Lean back or lean in on the see-saw of work and life, and you’ll tip — there goes your perfectly balanced life.
Instead of trying to separate, then balance, your personal and professional lives, try a different approach. Toss out the idea of a black-and-white existence and blend the two.
Our work is an extension of who we are — more so than it’s been in the past. To be fulfilled in your career, look at your job and life, and figure out how the two can intersect. (Click here to tweet this idea.) Identify what makes you happy, what motivates you, what excites you. What gives you an extra bounce in your step?
When you find out what those are and a way to interject them into your professional life, you’ll find fulfillment to a higher degree. Your life will make sense for your work, and your work will make sense for your life.
Work becomes playful and you’ll find meaning when you play. Your friends become your colleagues and your colleagues your friends.
If you’re stumped about how to take action, here are a few things you can do to get you on your way to living in the grey:
1. Create opportunity
Think of two people in your life — from your personal or professional network — who should meet. Look for people with common interests or similar goals. Shoot a quick note to each explaining why they should meet. Introduce them and see what happens.
When you add value to the lives of people in your world, it comes back around.
2. Share your aspirations
Tell one of your friends or family members about a business article you’ve read or why you love a certain brand. Seek out their insight on the topic and engage them in conversation you might not have otherwise had. This is a great way to nurture your (healthy) obsessions. Name your aspirations and share them with the ones you love.
3. Make your colleagues your friends
Make a lunch date with the coworkers, freelancers, contractors, peers and mentors who help you build your business. Celebrate your collaborations by getting to know each other in a non-work way. Talk about hobbies, travel or pets. Anything that’ll help everyone get to know each other on a deeper level.
Just make sure there’s no work-talk.
Let us know what happens as you try these things. Share your results with us in the comments below.