3 Misconceptions About Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance is commonly defined as the prioritization of your work life and your personal life. I’ve read many articles addressing work-life balance that suggest it’s a concept of time management and resource management.

My definition of work-life balance is living my best possible life! At certain times in my life I may be more focused on activity and progress, other times may be focused on rest and renewal. Action and pause are both necessary for a fulfilling and joyful life, and to enjoy the life I want I need to have both.

Think about what you really want when you say you want work-life balance. What does it mean to you?

I encourage you to make the most of your work life and your personal life, joyfully experiencing the best of your whole life. Set aside the mindset that you must drudge through the bad to get to the good. Make it all good!

Here are 3 common misconceptions about work-life balance to reconsider:

1. Work-life balance is not a result of time management.
Work-life balance is not about finding more time to fit more into your day. If you’re spending all your time managing your time, you’re focusing in the wrong place. You’ll experience a happier and more fulfilling life by focusing your values, not your time.

Spend as much of your life as possible on what is important to you. It may be personal growth, professional development, health, family, business- think about what matters to you and focus your energy there.

2. Work-life balance is not affected by the quantity of hours, but the quality of hours you spend loving what you do.
There’s no magic number of hours that guarantees you’ll live a great life that you love. You may work 20 hours a week and feel dissatisfied with your life, and you may work 60 hours a week and love your life! Work-life balance is not a calculation, it’s a mindset and daily practice of healthy and happy living.

You may not always have the opportunity to do what you love, but you can love what you do. Practice making the most of the life you have!

3. Work-life balance is not a prize at the end of the race.
So often we think we must work hard before we can enjoy any benefit in life. Hard work can pay off but you don’t need to work hard to enjoy and value your life. Don’t give up your happiness today for a reward you think you’ll get in the future.

You can have work-life balance, right now, if you so choose. It’s as simple as taking care of your basic needs and responsibilities. What do you need to do today? Scratch that- what do you truly need to do today? Take care of you, take care of what’s important, and honor your goals and values.

work-life balance

Here are some simple ideas I use to support a healthy, happy and balanced life:

How important is it?

Do the next right thing.

Keep it simple.

I love your comments! What does work-life balance mean to you? Do you have work-life balance in your life?

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  1. To us, at Being Lovable, life balance is simply about enjoying every bit of it…When you forgive the mistakes, hope for what is about to come, expect surprises, share your happiness and make yourself lovable as much as you can…life is a balance…

    • Forgiving mistakes is important to my peace of mind and serenity. I have to pay special attention to forgiving myself for my mistakes.

      I try every day to act from a place of love and when I do this, life seems to go much better.

      Namaste,

      Chrysta

  2. hello, yet again!! :) I forgot to answer the question you left when you commented about my studio/craft room! I loooove paper crafts (I collect it like quilters collect fabric), especially card making (because they’re fast to do and people love getting them). I also enjoy making fabric flowers pretty much because I think wearing them brings me JOY! I will definitely read more on your blog about self-care, I’m good at it and trying to teach other women to do it better. BTW, I’d be happy to send you some crafty goodies. Need bookmarks? A flower or two for fall? Let me know! :) Just e-mail me a mailing address to tabandrew@hotmail.com

    • Thanks so much for stopping by and talking crafts with me, Tabitha! Ooo… fabric flowers- now there’s something I haven’t done.

      I made this by taking apart and piecing together several different silk flowers, along with some feathers and beads:

      I would also love to inspire other women (and men) to be better about self-care. Basic self-care is so often overlooked! It is also common for people to attend to one area of their health and neglect others. Perhaps they take good care of their physical health and ignore their emotional health. Self-care is essential to living a happy, fulfilling and successful life!

      Have a grateful day!

      Chrysta

  3. Work life balance is more about attitude, isn’t it Chrysta. I try to use whatever time I can find to pursue my hobby or do some reading. Whenever time permits. I take off and drive to some place. I try to make use of whatever opportunity I have to learn. Infact I try to integrate my work with life so that learning is a continuum.

    Loved your post. Thanks for sharing . :)

    • Thanks for your comment, Ashvini!

      It absolutely is a mindset, and I think this is why so much of the advice I see about work-life balance is off-track. You can schedule your day, write to-do lists and manage your time and still not have balance.

      Balance isn’t external, it’s internal. It’s the feeling of health and happiness that comes when you’re well rested and living a life that is meaningful to you! Even if all you do is take regular short breaks during the workday, you are attending to your work and your life. It doesn’t have to be all one or the other.

      Have a grateful day!

      Chrysta

      • Thanks for your comment!

        I love that you mentioned resistance in relation to balance. When I am balanced in my life I feel far less resistance than when I am overworked, overstressed and unfocused. When I experience resistance I find it’s a wonderful opportunity to check in with myself and decide if I need to let go of something I’ve been holding onto, or if I choose to gently stretch into the resistance as I learn and grow.

        Have a grateful day!

        Chrysta

  4. “Work-life balance is not a prize at the end of the race.”

    You got it! To me, it’s not a destination, it’s a journey.

    “…take care of what’s important, and honor your goals and values.”
    We all have different goals and values, but you are correct. We must determine them and live life as if that is the only thing on our mind. This is what will build true happiness! :)

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks for your comment, Brock! It’s always nice to see you. :)

      I have a paper taped to my mirror that says, “mindfulness is a journey, not a destination. It exists in every moment.” I think the same is true of work-life balance, happiness and every other human experience.

      We choose what we experience every day when we make small choices that shape our attitude and belief systems. If one is not working for us, we can try another.

      We always have choices, and many things we think are necessary and urgent are neither. This is where we get to decide if we will spend our day on tasks that we value, or waste time on a mindless existence, hoping for a better future.

      Create what you want in your life!

      Have a grateful day!

      Chrysta

  5. Hi there! Not sure how I ended up here but didn’t want to be a lurker! :) I agree with the idea that balance doesn’t mean 50% work, 50% life. It’s not five hours at the computer + five hours playing with my kids = balance. Some days, I make on-line connections, serve as a sounding board for a friend, write a post, piddle in my craft room, take my boys to the park, etc. and I go to bed feeling fulfilled and happy. Other days, I HAVE to get “work” accomplished–at the expense, potentially, of time with my kids or friends, but still go to bed feeling fulfilled and happy. Other days it may mean doing NOTHING work related and other days, it’s all kids and nothing else. I hadn’t thought about how all of that relates to values, but you’re right!
    I’ve also, slowly but surely, learned to take better care of myself, which means taking time to SLOW down, rest and pursue that I love. So important! That goes a loooong way toward my feeling balanced!
    Balance changes for me day to day and season to season. And it looks different for all of us. I feel like I’ve finally learned to strike a balance but even that is unpredictable! I just try not to fall into the trap of feeling guilty, regardless of what the “balance” is!

    • Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Tabitha!

      Your definition of balance sounds just right to me! Some days focusing energy on one important task and other days on a different important task, and some days a whole lotta rest! :)

      What’s really important is not the division of activity but the value of activity. I try, as much as possible, not to spend time on activities that I don’t value.

      And self-care- that’s so important and I write about it quite a bit. Taking good care of my mental, emotional and physical health has made such a huge improvement in the quality of my life. I am more focused, make better decisions and feel happier overall. It’s far too easy to set aside my self-care for something silly like staying up to watch a show I don’t really care much about.

      I also agree balance is different for everyone, and different from season to season! I try to follow my heart and my truth, wherever it may lead me.

      Thanks again for your awesome comment! I really love what you had to say!

      Chrysta

  6. The irony of having posted under you on the SITS site is not lost on me, considering the comment I just left there. 😉

    I completely agree with having no value to add in commenting when it doesn’t … well, when that site just doesn’t speak to you.
    Which is likely why I never do.

    I’m in the fortunate position of being unemployed, as is my husband, and we have been for Quite. A. While.
    I’ve spent the last 20 years working hard to afford time to manage – and then one day, it was simply taken from us.
    Everything.

    So here I am in the position of not having to decide to quit my “career” and find something more rewarding. Being unemployed for years gives one ample time to find what it is they actually derive satisfaction from. You learn to let go of that “necessary” monster paycheck in exchange for ANY paycheck. You learn that life is better on the slow track, and though money is nice, being able to live is even nicer.

    Great post. Awesome insight. And finally, a blog written by a woman on something other than being pregnant, getting pregnant, giving birth, or diapers 24/7!
    THANK YOU.

    • Thanks for your awesome comment!

      I love that you choose to feel fortunate for your unemployment! I try to make the best of what I have, and sometimes an opportunity to slow down and relax is just what I need. When someone is driving slow in front of me I will take a deep breath and enjoy not rushing to my destination. Of course unemployment is stressful for most people- myself included- but I can still recognize that I can embrace the opportunities that come with unemployment. I actually started this blog when I was unemployed!

      I also appreciate your comments about leaving value-added comments on blogs that don’t mesh with your interests & lifestyle, and at the same time I don’t want to leave a generic comment like, “great post!” I love when I find other blogs that truly inspire me, and as I’m pursuing a life of value and purpose, I try to limit my energy and focus (and time!) to those things that energize and engage me!

      Have a grateful day!

      Chrysta

  7. I definitely strive to have balance in life. But for me it’s so easy to get caught up online. I love talking w/ people through social media. I love writing. I love being inspired by others. I love learning.

    I do have to remind myself to not delay enjoying my life till later. Sometimes I put in so much work in my free time and think that when I get this project done, then life will be better. I know it doesn’t work that way.

    Thanks for the reminder!

    • Thanks for commenting, Benny! It’s nice to “see” you. :)

      I also have to remind myself that balance happens now, not later. Sometimes it’s necessary to work hard or push through to complete a task, but I try to be in the moment of the task at hand and get as much enjoyment/satisfaction from it as I can. Happiness is not the reward at the end, it’s simply appreciation of the here and now!

      One of my favorite aspects of being a blogger is the interaction and inspiration I get from other bloggers. I feel so grateful to know so many beautiful, passionate and purposeful bloggers like yourself. It’s truly a wonderful gift.

      Have a grateful day!

      Chrysta

  8. Great post Chrysta! The first point really resonates. It’s really not about time, it’s about priorities and values. It is SO easy to get swept up in time and particularly its fleeting nature. But if we SPEND our time doing what we love, the time management consideration becomes so much more irrelevant.

    • Thanks for your awesome comment, Ruth!

      I read so much advice about time management and I think to myself that time management does not matter if you hate your job or your life- what kind of work-life balance is that? My goal is not to manage my time, or achieve some quantifiable definition of success but to simply life a happy, healthy and purposeful life. When I do this, time and success matter far less to me because I love my life!

      Have a grateful day!
      Chrysta

  9. Great post Chrysta and you’ve made some excellent points here.

    I really agree with you on all the points that you made here. It’s not about finding more time in your day, it’s about spending that time to the best of your ability doing what you want.

    As my Dad use to always say, it’s about quality not quantity. It took me a long time to really realize just exactly what that meant.

    I know that people in the work force today really don’t have a lot of choices about what they are doing. Perhaps they are currently stuck in a job they don’t necessarily like so they aren’t spending their time the way they prefer. I get that so we have to just deal with what we are given. That should be the reason you spend the time you do have outside of the workplace to only do what you want to do. Life will be so much more enjoyable..

    • Thanks for your comment, Adrienne!

      Life is too short to not be enjoyed to the fullest! I can’t control time so instead I will focus on my attitude and experience and getting the most out of the life I have!

      It’s true many people have jobs they don’t love, and I do believe it’s possible to find small way to love that job anyway! Work-life balance is about getting value out of your work life and your personal life instead of sacrificing your personal life for the sake of your work life, or vice versa!

      Have a wonderful day, my friend!

      Chrysta