Why “Work-Life Balance” Is a Misnomer…Probably – Pick Dave’s Brain

Work-life “balance” or work-life “synergy” or neither one?

This week’s question comes from Steve in Appeldoorn, The Netherlands.

Q: Do you think the term work-life balance is really effective and accurate? I like to use “work-life synergy” and find it to be more effective. Isn’t working toward balance a less effective approach to take?

Click to tweet this: Don’t make work and life a “balancing act.” Find your rhythm and avoid those mental gymnastics. @DaveCrenshaw

Video transcript:

Work-life balance or work-life synergy or neither one? I’m Dave Crenshaw and it’s time to Pick Dave’s Brain!

This week’s question comes from Steve in Appeldoorn, The Netherlands. He writes:

Steve:

Do you think the term work-life balance is really effective and accurate? I like to use work-life synergy, and find it to be more effective. Isn’t working toward balance a less effective approach to take?

Dave Crenshaw:

Well Steve, your question brings up a challenge that I run into regularly which is trying to use terms that are really more powerful and more effective, when most people prefer to use less effective or less valuable terms.

For instance, in one of my courses I talked about how time management is dead and the real challenge of our day is focused management. Yet, I also have courses about time management. And I put myself out there as a bit of a time management expert. So why use the term when I don’t even think it’s the accurate term anymore?

Well, it’s just because it makes it easier for everyone else to find. And so the course that you’ve referenced—Work-life balance, in it I talked about how the balance that I am referring to is not really the balance of time between work and life. But more like the balance of a budget, living well within your means.

In my upcoming book, The Power of Having Fun, I introduce a new kind of balance—the personal-family balance. Many people are way out of their balance when it comes to how they spend time with family versus themselves. They either overemphasize their own personal needs or overemphasize their family ahead of themselves.

Now I am going to create this new kind of balance. Yet, it wouldn’t surprise me if the publishers choose to categorize the book in the work-life balance category.

But, returning to your question about the term that I would use, personally I prefer the term work-life rhythm. I talk about how productivity is not about perpetual motion, but about finding your rhythm. And I believe that people can find the proper rhythm between work and life, and that will get them to perform even better if they find out the rhythm that works for them.

But, in the end, use the term that means the most to you, that helps you take positive action in your life.

Thanks for the great question, Steve!

And if you would like to pick Dave’s brain, all you need to do is click on that button down there, underneath. Or go to DaveCrenshaw.com/ask.

I look forward seeing what question you throw at me!


Wish you had more time? What if you could uncover dozens of free hours every week, with just a few simple tweaks? Find freedom with a free copy of Dave’s guidebook, How to Get 10 Free Hours Every Week, by clicking here.