The Myth of a Work-Life Balance

Last Updated: 

June 11, 2024

As an entrepreneur, it's hard not to look back and reminisce on inevitable failures or what-ifs. To solve this, many find themselves searching for the ultimate work-life balance to help clear their mindset and make time for more important things like family time. But, what many fail to realise is that the notion of a 'work-life balance is a complete myth. Here's why.

'Work-life balance' is just another term for 'Time Management' recontextualised. Since they were young, many entrepreneurs have had a strong work ethic installed into their psyches through academics and education. Many are raised believing that to succeed, you must be working day and night to become as successful as Musk, Bezos, and Branson. The reality is far different; of course, a work-hard ethic is just as valuable as it is toxic as it heightens your drive. However, all there is to being successful and preventing burnout is just setting boundaries.

Key Takeaways on the Myth of Work-Life Balance:

  1. 'Work-life balance' is Time Management: The notion of work-life balance is essentially a recontextualisation of time management. It's about setting boundaries and preventing burnout, not necessarily working less.
  2. Practising Mindfulness: Engaging in mindfulness practices, such as yoga, Pilates, and affirmations, can help clear your mind and refocus. Apps like Calm and Headspace are great tools for practising mindfulness and reducing stress.
  3. Detoxing from Social Media: Social media can be integral to your business, but it's also important to set boundaries for its use. Screen time warnings and personal curfews can help manage social media usage without completely cutting it out.
  4. Prioritising Yourself: It's vital to take time for recuperation and self-care. Regular exercise, good nutrition, and mental rest are all important for preventing burnout. If stress becomes overwhelming, it's best to prioritise your own well-being over work commitments.
  5. 'So What' Method: When faced with a problem, the 'so what' method can help alleviate pressure by transforming 'all or nothing' thinking into problem-solving. It helps to see problems in a different light and provides a way forward.
  6. Redefining Balance: Balance in life doesn't just involve work. There needs to be a balance between all aspects of life, not just work and leisure. Setting boundaries and taking care of yourself can lead to decreased stress levels and, ultimately, a more successful business.
Discover Real-World Success Stories

Practising Mindfulness

Practising mindfulness and gratitude can be a great way to rebalance and find purpose within your work again. In a world full of chaos and distractions, it's completely understandable why you'd be looking for the calm amongst the storm. Here are a few ways you can do so:

  • Yoga and Pilate's - doing yoga not only makes you happier by releasing endorphins as it's a form of fitness. It provides you with a safe space and breathing exercises to help calm your thoughts and refocus. For those who wish to take their hobby to the next level, there is now ytt chicago available (or yoga teaching training in an area near you), where you can learn all of the required knowledge to begin a new career and teach this ancient art form to others.
  • Affirmations - practising affirmations daily can help increase productivity by allowing you not to dwell on negative thoughts and instead replace them with future goals and/or self appreciations. A great one to start with is "All my thoughts and efforts lead me to the success I desire" (for more, click here)
  • Mobile Apps - one of the many perks of living in the 21st century is that mobile apps can help you destress, refocus, and practice mindfulness. Popular favourites are apps like Calm and Headspace, which provide you with audiobooks and guided meditations to help you unwind.

Detoxing From Social Media

Typically, when taking a break from social, most people give it up for thirty days. However, if you work in business, the chances of you using social media to promote it and provide updates are very high. So, how do you detox from social media when it's integral to your business strategy? First of all, you don't need to go completely cold turkey; you just need to set boundaries.

Apps such as Facebook and Instagram now include screen time warnings in their settings, so you can pick and choose how long you should spend scrolling before being told to come off it.

Another excellent method is to set yourself a personal curfew on viewing emails and checking social media. This is particularly handy in the evenings when you want to spend time with the family after a long day at work. For example, you could set yourself a goal to leave your phone somewhere out of sight from 7 pm and not touch it until the morning after. This way, you are not only freeing yourself up with more time to spend with loved ones, but you also allow your brain to truly relax as it's no longer absorbing the blue light from your screens.

We use screens a lot nowadays as so many things require a connection, however, if you are someone who finds comfort online and in this general space, then it can be hard to detach. There is still a lot of fun you can have online without sticking with social media, for example, you can now get ai character chat which can be highly entertaining for those who want to have some enjoyment without having to engage their brain fully. It can be fun, romantic, relaxing, or exciting to talk to a whole range of people when you want a break from the 'real world' of social media.

Remember, life's too short. Generally, there's nothing that can crop up after work hours that can't be sorted the following day. The best way to avoid burnout is to not bring your work home with you, and when it can be helped, finish tasks only when you are at work.

Prioritising Yourself

Recuperation and recharging your batteries is incredibly important for your well-being. If you find yourself getting overwhelmed or burnout, take an hour out. Go for a walk or curl up under the duvet with your favourite TV show. Look after your body too with good food and regular exercise. You may want to consider supplements to boost your digestive health and increase energy levels, thus promoting wellness from head to toe. Burning out is a tell-tale sign from your psyche that you have had enough. There's no point in trying to power through it as often it can make it worse and lead to things such as long-term anxiety, depression and nervous breakdowns. When being faced with an issue, a good way of getting to grips with it is practising the 'so what' method. This is an exercise where you describe the worst-case scenario for the problem you are facing. See this example:

"I've had to cancel my important meetings this afternoon, as my child isn't feeling good."

"So what?"

"There were important connections and great opportunities at those meetings."

"So what?"

This will then lead you into your steps for what's next. You may decide to email them and rearrange, or if that doesn't work, network when you return to work and make better connections. Either way, this exercise helps to alleviate the pressure of your problems by transporting you out of 'all or nothing' thinking and calms your anxieties with solutions.

Ultimately, work-life balance is just 'balance'. Your work doesn't define your life. Life's too short, and if you find yourself getting overwhelmed, burnout or stressed, it's best to prioritise yourself before any work - commitments. With the world becoming increasingly more connected, it's more than natural to find yourself over consumed. In fact, in 2020, workplace burnout rose by 24% and is expected to be higher in 2021. By looking after yourself and setting boundaries, not only will your stress levels decrease, your business will be more successful.

People Also Like to Read...