Finding Work-Life Balance in a Work From Home World
Work-life balance is one of the most talked-about subjects among professionals in the workforce today. A quick google search of the term will pull up thousands of articles on tips to achieve this blissful, elusive state of being from the likes of Forbes, Harvard Business Review, Time, Mayo Clinic, and many, many more. However, I can’t help but think the conversation about work-life balance is a bit funny.
We have had so many guests on iWork4Him that come to discuss work-life balance and espouse its significance to our health and well-being. But ironically, there is only one thing that all of them have agreed on: A perfect work-life balance is, frankly, unachievable.
There will always be days when life takes over your work and other days when work takes over your life. There will always be a give and take. An integrated life isn’t about achieving perfect symmetry in your schedule; it is about putting guard rails around your life to protect it from your work. It is also about putting parameters around your work to keep the messiness of life from getting you fired. There is no such thing as a perfect balance.
But if that is true, how do we prevent our job from taking over and driving a wedge into our relationships? The answer is a Biblical perspective on priorities:
Volunteer work and other activities last.
When we filter our daily schedule through this priority list, we won’t find a perfect work-life balance, but we will find an acceptable compromise that keeps work within its proper boundaries.
Now, I don’t think we can talk about work-life balance without addressing the changes that the COVID-19 pandemic brought with it this past year. For many of you, work has now invaded your home life, making balance much more difficult. Martha and I have been working from home for almost five years and have felt the daily struggle of placing boundaries around our life so that work doesn’t take over. When you never leave your job, it never leaves you. You have to shut the door on it and say goodbye for the night.
How are you dealing with putting work in its place within this new paradigm? I imagine you are struggling, just like we have. And that’s okay. You are not alone.
Working from home is probably never going to go away completely, so how do can we live an integrated life with work, family, church, and house cleaning all happening in the same place? Jesus put it this way in Matthew 6:33, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”
When we consider the God-given biblical priorities list and begin to organize our life according to it, we are able to successfully integrate our roles as an employee, a spouse, a parent, a friend, a congregant, etc. It is from this place of “Kingdom first,” that we begin to build appropriate boundaries around work and thrive in all aspects of life.
For more on work-life balance and living an “integrated” life – listen to this episode of iWork4Him.