Work-Life balance is nonsense

Work-Life balance is nonsense

Remember the last time you worked really hard ? how did it feel ? how long did it last ? did it pay off ?

Imagine you could optimize your efforts to pull off a year of hard work to achieve something you want. I can’t help but imagine the amount of amazing things a person can accomplish by following that path.

Before you protest that balance is important and that everyone should rest and take it easy, think about this : Resting is more tiring and depressing than not. The weekends you spend chilling at a home are usually the worst. On the other hand, the weekends you spend working on something exciting can help you prepare for your week better.

In this article, I will explain and defend my perspective of work-life balance and how it should be. Before reading, I want to let you know that I assume the following :

  • I assume that work is an activity that you enjoy doing for a long period of time and anytime.
  • I assume that you are willing to achieve the 100% of your potential

The illusory wall between Work and Life

When we say “work-life balance”, it usually implies that work is the opposite of life, which is wrong in my opinion. Work can be enjoyed and it can even be a huge part of your life. On the other hand, working out, which usually falls under the life section, can be taken seriously and become work.

I also blame the design of the work week in our society, as it was conceived in a very different context than the one we have today. I think it’s a mistake to save 2 days per week in order to “rest AND not work”. This powerful restriction was very successful at building the illusory split between work and life.

Can you even stop thinking about a problem you have at work after 5pm ? Even if you are paid to work 40 hours a week, you are probably working more or less without noticing and you can’t stop it unless you are purposefully cheating your employer or yourself.

Balance isn’t less

When we say work-life balance, we also imply that we should do less work and less life. I think it means doing both instead. What is work-life balance for someone who loves their work ? should they do less of it ? what should they do in their free time then? things they are not interested into ?

Strangely enough, if you work hard on something, it is nearly guaranteed that someone from your environment will tell you that you must do less and stay balanced. At school, it’s very common to pick on the nerds and the ones who take their studies very seriously instead of joining the crowd. The same happens at work, if you do your job correctly and improve at it, you might be looked at as someone who’s overdoing it and making others look bad.

I don’t think people are evil, but these kinds of behaviors express how much they don’t accept people who are different than them. It feels like a tribe of people who don’t accept the ones who don’t follow their rituals and do things the “right” way.

The idea of balance is nowadays taking the role of amplifying the lazy voice you have inside, the voice that tells you “it’s okay, go easy on yourself” at times when you can achieve further.

I hope I articulated my perspective well while staying politically correct. Opinion might differ since everyone has his own situation. I wish nothing but the best for you, however you define “best”.

If this article added value to you or at least stimulated your thoughts concerning work life balance and how you might want to define it, share this article with your friends and talk about it. Thank you for your time.