Achieving balance – reality or fantasy?

Photo credit - Ryan Tauss via unsplash.comPhoto credit – Ryan Tauss via

Achieving work-life balance is something oft’ talked about. Some suggest it is a misnomer in certain work environments eg high performance workplaces. Others call it different names like work-life ‘fit’. Regardless, the concept of balancing the demands of work and life can be challenging. Can you really achieve it … or is it a pipe dream?

A blog I subscribe to (Scribblepost) focuses on sharing ideas about productivity. Their contribution is to paraphrase articles and posts about the topic that they think are worth sharing. Their blog posts are clear and concise, providing the essence of the topic in less than a page of text – so you get the message quickly, and can get on your job and your life!

As an example, here is what they say about why work-life balance matters.

The concept of balance
The concept of balance is an interesting one. It is not about achieving a static state. It is much more dynamic – like the biological concept of equilibrium in life systems. They are in a state of flux, constantly moving between interdependent parts to achieve a homeostatic stability.

Balance is talked about in many contexts. In health, a balanced diet is seen as a good thing when accompanied by a varied and balanced exercise routine. Tonight, on ABC’s Catalyst program on Alzheimer’s disease, one of the findings shared was that what we eat, how much we move and sleep as well as the variety of things we do, all help to “push back” the onset of the condition. People who read widely, and engage in a range of activities are perceived as more “interesting”. These all suggest a need for requisite variety to survive.

Requisite variety
Achieving requisite variety means organisation and commitment. I know – it sounds like work! But, once it becomes a habit, a mindset that you orient yourself towards, it is much easier to maintain. You need to set things up so having the variety and achieving the balance is not too hard. It means not over-complicating matters. Keeping things simple and flexible, knowing that your efforts and energies in different areas will fluctuate. Perfect balance is not what we’re after. Something workable, that fits with the things we are obliged to do and those we want to do, is what is important.

I am finding I am getting requisite variety from my city corporate life and snow-life activities. It requires lots of organisation and sometimes can be tiring. So every now and again, I stop. Have down time in town or down time on the mountain. Reset, then return to routine.

What about you? Do you have requisite variety in your life? Is it practical to achieve or, something beyond your reach?

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