Why Work-Life Balance is Futile—and What to Focus on Instead
The Green Apple Podcast does weekly “Green Apple Slices”, where John Garrett and Rachel Fisch discuss a recent business article related to the Green Apple Message. These shorter segments are released each Monday, so don’t miss an episode by subscribing on iTunes or an Android app.
This week, John and Rachel discuss a PsychCentral article, “Why Work-Life Balance is Futile—and What to Focus on Instead” by Margarita Tartakovsky.
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Happy Monday. It’s John Garrett coming to you with another episode of Green Apple Slices fresh off the Sage Sessions Vancouver event. I have on the other line the Accountants Group Leader for Canada, for Sage, for the world, Rachel Fisch.
Rachel: Just for Canada. No, it was good to see you in Vancouver. We sold out like over a month before the event which was very cool. So it was good to see a packed room. I think that it probably served your keynote well.
John: It was awesome. Such great people. Yeah, I mean, it’s always so much fun doing those Sage Sessions events and talking with everyone after as well. It’s really fun. And then you guys jam it with all the breakout sessions and everything. I mean, it’s a really good day for people that make the time to come.
Rachel: It is. It was really cool to kind of wrap up this season of Sage Sessions in Vancouver. So that was awesome.
John: Absolutely. But every Monday, we always get together and chat through an article that we find online about engagement or culture or things like that. So this one might be a little bit of an intervention maybe again for Rachel but…
Rachel: I think the complete opposite. I think this is like, aha, there is no such thing. So stop it with the trying to, you know, there just isn’t such a thing, right? It talks about work-life balance is futile. We’ve talked before about a work-life, I don’t know, some other kind of word. But this one talks about work-life satisfaction. Basically, if you were to kind of review the different areas of your life, are you doing well in each of those areas of your life despite you might be a workaholic?
Right now it’s certainly timely because for me I know and for you for events and stuff like that, it’s just a really busy accounting conference time of year. I just feel like I’m on the road constantly. I get those lovely little jabs on Facebook like, “Are you ever home?” Yes, I am home.
So one of the things that I look to to say, “Okay, is it too much?” is when I look in my relationship with my kids. I make sure that I talk to my girls every day, if possible. Sometimes I’m on a plane during our regular call time, but those little messages from them and making sure that I stay connected to them. If I know I’m doing that, well, then I think it does help to alleviate the “mommy is working too much” guilt.
John: Right. No, absolutely. I mean, I don’t have kids, probably for the better of the world.
Rachel: Because you kind of are one big one.
John: Exactly. I mean, one of them is also the relationships but also with yourself. It’s just being balanced and feeling like you’re in a good place and feeling like you’re bettering yourself. That’s also something that’s important for people.
Rachel: Okay, wait, what? There’s another thing I have to think about because I was doing okay with the work thing and the kids thing. Man! Yeah, I know I’m not doing well.
John: You’re doing fine. You answered the call this morning, so I mean there’s that.
Rachel: I did. I do find, though, that I am more selective in how I spend my downtime. I think that that kind of goes toward that a little bit. Like, sure, I could be working on the plane nonstop, or you know what, I’m just going sit back and take this news or read a book or just kind of check out for a little while. So that’s kind of my way of making sure that I’m not actually working 24/7.
John: Yeah, absolutely. Because you’re always on, and so it’s good to take a break. When I’m on a flight, as much as I want to work, for some reason, I’m asleep before we take off. I don’t know why. It’s like the white noise or something. I’m just asleep and then we’ll land and then I’ll wake up and people would be like, “Wow, that delay was really annoying.” I’m like, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
John: Yeah, it’s not always great. But another thing in the article that I think is really great too is just take time to celebrate. We’re so hard on ourselves. I know I am especially. So instead of always being so critical of yourself and being so hard on yourself for not doing those choices or not whatever you think you should be doing, just look at the positives and celebrate what did happen.
Rachel: Yeah, I do find that we don’t — and I think in this case, you and I are kind of alike — oh, Lord, not that I would ever admit — but that we are kind of perfectionist a little bit. You do have good things happen in your life, and I have good things happen in my life. So to take a few minutes and to celebrate that would be good idea too.
John: Yeah, absolutely, because it talks here about how just the stress and the anxiety and the overwhelm of all of it combined can really wear on you. So take time to take that break, to disengage to veg out, but also to look at the positives and celebrate that. I’m looking at a positive that you picked up the phone, and we did another episode. That’s a huge win for me
Rachel: That is a check in that box. Yeah, another week done.
John: I think October is a win. I’m just going to count it for the whole month.
Rachel: Sounds good.
John: So we’ll have a good rest of the week traveling. We’ll check in next Monday.
Rachel: Yeah, you too, John.
John: All right, bye.