Brisbane City Psychologists Work Life Balance

Work Life Balance: Myths & Solutions

by Brisbane City Psychologist Jennifer Rees Brown

It seems we’re all on a quest to achieve work-life balance, but we don’t often talk about what that means nor how to address it. And if we’re fortunate enough to reach that elusive state finally, how do we maintain it? 

A quick Google search for ways to fix work-life imbalance offers many seemingly simple solutions to this modern problem. Ideas such as becoming a list-writer, to schedule time for self-care, to stick to designated work hours, to join a gym, and to manage your finances. But adding tasks to an already-full schedule often doesn’t feel like a helpful solution.

Work Life Balance vs Work Life Harmony

Balance

The word ‘balance’ suggests something precarious and fragile – that if any part moves, things topple over. But the reality for all of us is that life is always dynamic and often demanding.

The world’s richest man, Amazon’s CEO and founder, Jeff Bezos has spoken at length on this issue. Business Insider Australia reported he finds the phrase work-life balance “debilitating” because it suggests a competitive trade-off.

Harmony

Instead of balance, Bezos prefers to look at the energy we bring into the various parts of our lives. If you enjoy working long hours, Bezos argues, and that helps you feel present when at home, then by all means continue. He describes this as work-life “harmony”, not balance. But of course, the reality is not as simple. Studies have shown that even people who love their work can suffer from overwork and burnout.