The Myth of Balance

I may lose some followers here, but, give me a chance to explain what I am proposing before you completely shut me out.  I believe that the concept of finding balance (work/home/life) is quite possibly an unproductive myth.

I can't tell you how many times I have read/heard about 'finding work/home balance' etc. in my life from 'experts' out in the wide world.  Whenever I tried to 'balance' everything I failed.  That didn't feel productive or effective and thus I started questing for a better, more realistic answer.  When your career is predicated upon your clients increasing production without hating their life...scholastic or idealistic concepts only go so far...

I now prefer, strongly, the term alignment when approaching the same issue:  How do I handle the time demands my life places upon me?  

There is a ton of 'noise' in today's increasingly connected world.  Hobbies, church, friends, family, clients, vendors, etc...all conspire to 'unbalance' my schedule and my enjoyment of life.  I fight back with alignment.

When I decided to ignore the call for balance in my life, everything started to get better.  I make my decisions about where I put my time and efforts based upon principles that I seek to align all my thoughts and actions upon.  Thus, when competitive interests or obligations arise (hourly/daily) I will decide which gets my attention and focus based upon how closely it aligns with my principles and purpose.

It might seem subtle, but, my coaching and consulting clients have responded with less stress and better results when they shed the guilt of trying to balance things that they, quite frankly, cannot even hope to.  By focusing on alignment, they are able to emotionally and rationally resolve time conflicts and move on with their life.  

In short, accept that you aren't the center of the universe, that the concept of you balancing your life is perhaps an impossible and unrealistic goal (I don't know about you, but, I am far from perfect) and then detail principles that matter to you now and in the future.  Decision making will get simpler, dealing with the projects/noise that you cannot complete with excellence will feel less stressful and at the end of the day you will find the peace of life aligned with what you know counts.

What matters to you?  Think of a compass instead of a scale and detail your alignment needle today.

Mike