Work-Life Balance sounds like a noble endeavor, but it sure can be difficult (and sometimes feel impossible) to obtain!

That’s why I love Scott Eblin’s assertion that Work-Life Balance is a myth.

Eblin, author of Overworked and Overwhelmed, the Mindfulness Alternative, says work-life balance is a lot like walking a tightrope.  It’s really hard, takes years to learn, and even the best tightrope walkers only walk the line for a few minutes or meters, then they get off.

In our fast-paced world, we often feel like we have to find the perfect balance and keep it all the time.  It’s just not realistic.

Eblin offers the alternative of “Work-Life Rhythm”.  

There’s a rhythm to our life, our work, and finding that rhythm creates more space for taking care of ourselves, taking care of those around us, and getting the most important things done right.

“Instead of chasing that purple unicorn of work-life balance, what if you thought about it as establishing a work-life rhythm? That works for me and a lot of my clients. By seeking a rhythm, you acknowledge there are times when the pace is much more oriented to work and there are the times when the counterpoints of the other aspects of your life come to the fore. Shifting from the mindset of balance to the mindset of rhythm allows you to take the pressure off. You have permission to quit seeking that holy grail of perfect balance.

Instead, you recognize all of the factors that come together to create the rhythm of your life – your life at work, your life at home, your life in your community. You identify and act on the simple routines that support the outcomes you’re looking for in those three arenas of life. They’re the routines that keep you physically strong, mentally acute, relationally healthy and spiritually grounded.” (Scott Eblin, 2012)

Eblin’s recommendation to “get off the tightrope” pairs perfectly with improved stress management.

When focusing on work-life rhythm, it is more natural to embrace the emotional intelligence skills of flexibility and optimism, which are key factors in stress management.

Take a moment to determine the work-life rhythm you are currently in:

  1. What are your greatest demands at work for the next two weeks?
  2. What are the most important events at home for the next two weeks?
  3. How can you effectively develop and manage a rhythm between the two?

For more information on Stress Management skills, click here.