This post originally appeared on Unsectored
I often like to mix tastes – raisins in a kale salad, sea salt on chocolate – which may explain why I have such an issue with the idea of Work/Life Balance.
Work/Life balance implies that you have two big pulls on your time that just can’t overlap (there’s even a slash in between!).
So many world changers have told me that Work/Life balance is one of our biggest challenges.
As a new mother and the Founder of GatherWell, the Think + Do Tank for Practical Idealists, I can relate – raisins aside.
Like you, I’m motivated by suffering in the world, my wish to help others and my belief in the possibility of a better, more just and equal society. I’m also deeply motivated by my wish to be a good Mom and keep my marriage healthy.
At times my stress level has been out of control. It’s compromised my ability to be who I wish to be.
Having worked through those times, I’ve come to believe that a deep reframe of the work/life balance question is in order.
What if, instead of constantly trying to share between two buckets of “work” and “life”, you could swim in one big bath? What if you reclaimed your work as part of your life, instead of a competitor with it?
Stop endlessly breaking down your day into smaller and smaller bits of time and trying to cram as much as possible into each. Experiment with finding a natural flow between the different pieces of your life. Look for overlaps. Look for blend instead of balance.
Here are my top two practical ways to start creating blend right now:
Method #1. Make Your Salad: Look for opportunities to intentionally mix what you need to feel rejuvenated with your passion for creating change in the world.
Have a meeting? Why not do it while going for a walk.
Need new partners? Look for people you’d actually enjoy hanging out with in your free time. Working with people you genuinely enjoy will not only mean you feel more relaxed, it’s also likely to make you more effective.
Method #2. Find your “Gold Star” Activities: Focus not just on what issues you are working on, but the kind of work you are doing. Even if you are really passionate, if you aren’t well matched to the task at hand it will drag you down. Too often passionate people feel like we have to be all and do all for our cause. The truth is, just like everyone, there are some tasks you are better suited to then others.
The more you are working not only on what you love, but in the way you love, the more blended you’ll feel.
Try these methods. Invent your own. Find ways to feel so alive when you’re pursuing your passion that the work itself rejuvenates you.
Photo Credit: Seth Anderson