Work-life balance doesn’t have to be a dirty word. We feel guilted into saying we’re ‘in balance’ as if our lives are out of control or something is wrong with us if we don’t maintain this harmony. Life is important, and so is work–but it’s vital that the two exist in tandem without one consuming the other. Work should support life, not dictate it.

What does a harmonious life feel like to you?

Keep in mind that everyone’s idea of a harmonious life is different. If you’re happy with working on projects late at night, feeling like a successful parent while wearing a suit and heels, seeing your partner at the airport as you leave for work trips, or being an entrepreneur during weekends only, then you are in harmony. We can’t do everything simultaneously and our schedules often conflict, but if you find contentment overall with the craziness that only makes sense to you, don’t try to fix what isn’t broken. outlines six components of a balanced lifestyle:

  1. Self management
  2. Time management
  3. Stress management
  4. Change management
  5. Technology management
  6. Leisure management

People who are working towards self-actualization often seek balance in their lives. Kendra Cherry wrote a great article discussing some of the traits that these individuals share. She noted that many times, they’re realistic, enjoy problem-solving, have rich experiences, crave alone time and privacy, and tend to be spontaneous with a good sense of humor. This is an excellent list of qualities. The term “work-life balance” is often used to describe effectively merging family, work, friends, community participation, spirituality, and personal growth. It doesn’t matter if you have children or not; are in a traditional job or on the promotion track; starting a business in your 20’s or are in the creative arts going long stretches without regular work–the importance of finding harmony between these different aspects of life is crucial for everyone. Many sites claim you have to choose between work and children, but that’s not true. You won’t find satisfaction in life until you find the space that fulfills you. This space may be different at different times of the day or when you’re with different people because your emotional needs vary. Your needs will also change as you age, learn new things, and get tired.

If you want to balance work and life, go out and get it. Set your goals high, whether they have to do with work, life at home, or creative endeavors. Also keep in mind that what works for others won’t necessarily work for you—figure out what does based on the support from those around you as well as how much time/energy YOU are willing to put in. And don’t forget: “All” is a relative term. What may be feasible (and enjoyable) for one person could be stressful and unachievable for another.”

Have you given thought to whether you’d prefer “harmony” or “work-life balance”? If so, which do you think is more important? What tips do you have on achieving either goal? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below!

Ask Jehmu Greene, former Office Hours guest and Fox News Political Commentator, how she creates harmony in her life!

If you want to learn more about Equal Pay Day and the #Ask4More campaign by Levo, click here.

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