Don't Treat Work-Life Balance As A Zero-Sum Game

Don't Treat Work-Life Balance as a Zero-Sum Game

There are only so many hours in a day. Work and life fight over who gets more of yours and we call the struggle "work-life balance". However, giving attention to one doesn't have to take away from the other.

Picture: Nina Hale/Flickr

As personal finance blog Money Ning explains, work-life balance implies a competition, but in reality one feeds into the other. By protecting your home life, you become a better worker, and by moving up in your job (and getting paid more/finding more job satisfaction), you make your home life better:

Part of the problem with achieving balance is the fact that we describe it as a competition between our work and our lives. We talk about work and life as if they're two separate spheres — when the fact is that all of our time is our life. Not only does pitting "work" against "life" in this equation make it seem as though there's no real way to enjoy your job, but it also suggests that adding to one area will subtract from the other.

That's not always the case, though: Getting a promotion and working harder doesn't detract from your life if you enjoy your job. And taking the time you need to care for a family member, exercise, or otherwise take care of your "life" often makes you more effective at work.

Managing your time can be a zero-sum game because you can't add hours to the day. That doesn't mean that balancing your work life with your home life is a direct competition. The two work to complement each other, not negate each other. Check out Money Ning's article for more tips on breaking work-life balance myths.

3 Reasons Why Work/Life Balance Doesn't Really Exist [Money Ning]


    Work-life balance? Hahahahahahahaha

    ...sorry, couldn't help it. My company has never heard of it.

    More and more it feels like 'Work-Life balance' is a mythical ideal that the 'haves' talk about (because they're in a career or high enough status to go home) and the 'have-nots' dream about. Work takes up your time when you're doing it, takes up your mind when you're trying to get your 'life' chores done. Investment of time and energy into career has no guaranteed return, it's dependent on playing the right game and knowing the right rules to tip promotion and remuneration decisions in your favour - often it's devoting the time to knowing the right people rather than doing the right work.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now