This is a balance.
It’s purpose is to give each side equal weight so that things are brought into a state of equilibrium. This would mean that if I put a kilo of coffee beans on one side, I would need to add a certain amount of another object to counter-balance the beans until they were of equal weight.
Let’s say, my other object is a feather.
Now beans on their own don’t necessary weigh a lot, but they do weigh more than feathers. I’m guessing that at least one pillow would have to be destroyed to counter-balance my kilo of beans.
So, if we were to talk about work-life balance…what is the individual weighting of work? What about “life”? How much work is it going to take to balance out life?
If I have a crap ton of work – it’s fiscal year end, performance reviews are due, a department has decided to re-org, and there’s the equivalent of an After School Special being played out in one group…how much do I have to add onto my life side to keep things in balance?
Or what if I’m dealing with a medical condition, two teenagers, aging parents, financial concerns, and a neighbour that’s decided to wage war on our household. How much work do I have to pile on to bring things into equilibrium.
It doesn’t work.
Work-life “balance” is a fallacy.
Sometimes you need to give more to your job. Sometimes you need to give more to your “life”. Ideally, you’ll flip back and forth – so maybe work-life “averaging” is a better term.
The problem isn’t about being unbalanced, it’s about a failure to recognize which side you need to focus on or worse, when you are unable to do so.