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Joannix Ochart
Joannix Ochart

I never have enough time.

I’m exhausted. My life is overwhelming.

I’m so tired of being behind. Will I ever catch up?

I hear these phrases all the time, both in my own head and from other people. Friends, family, clients, business owners, coworkers—we all know what it’s like to feel out of balance.

Work-life balance is a hot topic in our overworked, overscheduled and overstimulated culture. It’s a huge problem that we need to get straight, because the way you spend your time is the way you spend your life. But what the heck do we mean by balance?

What is Life Balance, Anyway?

The word balance makes us believe everything in our lives should be divided equally. We think we can manage our time just right to divide our days into perfectly equal parts, with time dedicated to our spouse, children, exercise, faith, work, volunteering, hobbies and every other commitment in our lives. But this isn’t just unrealistic—it’s not even desirable! Life balance isn’t about doing everything for an equal amount of time. It’s about doing the right things at the right time. When you spend your one life on what actually matters to you, you can feel the sense of balance you’ve been searching for.

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Whether you’re a woman or man, corporate professional or stay-at-home parent, barely getting by or at the top of your career, feeling balanced is something we all want.  But it’s clear that throughout our country we have a work-life balance problem.  

Why Do We Work So Much? 

There are a few reasons your work-life schedule can leave you feeling out of balance:

1. In America, there’s a lot of pressure to perform.

I love this country. I love that we have the opportunity to create awesome lives, to learn and grow, to start businesses, and to try new things. But our high standards for productivity come with a tradeoff. The average American working a full-time job puts in 44 hours a week, but there are many people who go above and beyond that number.1 And I’m not ruling out homemakers here! Let’s be honest, if you’re a stay-at-home parent, you probably have a longer workday than most people.

We put insane pressure on ourselves all the time to do it all, be it all, and accomplish it all. No wonder we’re craving more balance in our lives.

3. You're doing work that you love.

If you’re working after hours when you could be doing anything at all, it likely shows that you love what you do. I enjoy my work so much that I sometimes have to make myself stop working.

If you love your work too, don’t let guilt overtake you. Struggle and discipline are good things. Just make sure you know your limits. At the end of the day, do you feel a sense of accomplishment, or do you feel burned out? I want you to avoid getting to the point of burnout. Otherwise, eventually, you won’t be effective at work, in your business, or as a spouse or parent.

But if what you’re doing brings you joy, even if it’s work, then you’re creating your own version of work-life balance. At the end of the day, that’s the only version of balance that matters anyway! 

4. You're doing all the things for all the wrong reasons.

We can easily do the right thing for the wrong reasons. We often try to fix an insecurity or meet a need through accomplishing more. We might live for praise or recognition from others. Or maybe we’re afraid of letting people down, so we say yes to things we don’t actually want to do. In my own life, I can be driven by a need to impress others or a need to be the hero and step in and save the day.

The problem is that these deeper motivations drive us to create busy lives with no sense of balance. Before you commit to something next time, ask yourself why you’re doing it. Are you doing it because it’s important to you and a priority in this season of your life? Or are you trying to please people, prove yourself, or impress someone? Balance is about doing the right things at the right time. When you ask yourself what’s right to do right now, you can make better decisions and resist the pull to be everything to everyone. You can do the right things at the right time for the right reasons.

Joannix Ochart

Joannix Ochart

About the Author

Christy Wright is a #1 national bestselling author, personal development expert and host of The Christy Wright Show. She’s been featured on Today, Fox News, and in Entrepreneur and Woman’s Day magazines. Since 2009, Christy has served at Ramsey Solutions, where she teaches on personal development, business and faith. Learn More.

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