It takes years of training for gymnasts to have great balance. It’s definitely not the balance I’m talking about.

The buzz term you’ll hear in any industry is work/life balance. It’s simple. Allocating time for work and your personal life evenly. Maybe not as simple as we think.

Every industry, company, role, profession, or whatever big word you want to call it, makes balance difficult. Maybe it’s the long hours. Maybe it’s about being constantly on edge about being called upon after hours when something breaks. It’s highly likely you just don’t have enough time in the work week to get anything done because you’ve scoped out 3 steps ahead that you require extra time on the weekend to get shit done due to the delicacy or complications of your work. Or rather, just lack of resourcing with no company buy-in to increase said resourcing.

I consider it a talent some people have. They can just shut off after work. After 8 hours, they’re done. Unless it’s mission critical, they’re ignoring that email that comes at 8pm because it’ll give no benefit whether their reply is sent at 8:05pm that night or 8:05am the following morning. They can shop, clean, cook, stroll around town, Netflix & chill, read, exercise, nap, and cry without a care in the world about work until the next morning or week. I salute you.

I’ve always come with the mindset that I am in the office for 8 hours and I am out. Just my physical presence. If I need to stay longer because of something critical or a late meeting, I have no issue. However, mentally, I will never be shut off. I chose a profession dealing with technology. Technology, as much as we love using it every day, is very fragile. I kind of live in fear every evening hoping that email or call doesn’t come in saying something is broken. It’s a consequence of the role, I can’t complain about that, but kind of gets in the way when I feel I have to always be online. It’s not just that either. Maybe just specific to role now, it’s forecasting how long things will take to get done during the work week. I apply external factors into the day to day, such as meetings and other things to distract me from sitting down and doing work and learn that 40 hours isn’t enough. Spending a couple hours at home after work or a few hours Saturday and Sunday to get things ready to go for the week isn’t because things HAVE to get done. It’s more about getting things done and done right and efficiently. Start putting things off because there isn’t enough time to get it done, then it’ll always get pushed off because there will always be something else that will get in the way.

Let’s also be real. If you’ve been here reading long enough, I don’t really have much of a personal life to balance anyway. I could be the most boring person ever. I don’t stay thirsty. Jokes aside though, finding balance is about trial and error. Train yourself to find something that works. Maybe I should do more things that doesn’t involve me sitting in front of a computer screen. Then that fear kicks in that the moment I step away, disaster strikes and I can’t act fast enough. Work in progress. I’ll nail that balance beam eventually.

If balance is about trial and error, how much will you suffer to find it? What is the cost?