The concept of work-life balance sets us up for failure. Here's the lowdown - there is nothing negative about having a job and a life. We fantasize about the day we split ourselves equally between all the parts of our life, but it's always just around the corner, just out of reach... when X, Y or Z changes, when we've got our life figured out - that's when we'll manage it.
But deadlines, meetings, errands and appointments, conference calls and research, laundry and food shopping, pets and little one's tantrums — they’re all pieces in the jigsaw called life.
The concept of work-life balance implies that one is at the expense of the other, that they're two opposing teams competing for the score. It implies that it's a tricky act to master. But all the ways you spend your time, from waking up to hitting the sack - they're all for the same thing... YOU.
How many times do you deal with personal stuff in your work time, and answer work-related emails in your personal time? You can resent the one thing for spilling over into the other, as though it should be neatly compartmentalised. Like that feeling you don't have "a life" as though work is something outside your real life.
And it doesn't just apply to those who work outside of the home. Stay-at-home mums feel it too - like the endless to do list means there's no time left to do the fun stuff. Women who run their own businesses from home (myself included) feel like we're never really off duty, the phone always beeping and the laptop always calling.
The way we talk to ourselves matters. Why not lighten the mental load and talk about it in terms of our work-life BLEND?
Acknowledge that we can't do all of the things all of the time. Your blend is about accepting that however you spend your time it's all towards the same thing, YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN TEAM. Take back that control - you choose today's blend, and guess what - it'll be different tomorrow and different in every day after that. It's a more fluid perspective and it feels much kinder.
Things are imperfect and will naturally overlap. That's OK. There's no one right way to do it, and no-one's getting it perfect.