A New Take on “Work-Life Balance”: 3 Questions to Help Create Alignment Between Your Personal and Professional Life

Work-life balance is a pretty alluring idea. And we are probably all guilty of referring to it a time or two (or hundreds!).

It’s true that finding a good balance between work and life is very important for personal and mental health, for our families, and for productivity in the workplace. But the big downfall of the tireless pursuit of that right “balance” between work and life is simply that the two aren’t mutually exclusive. Life doesn’t end when we get to work, and our lives outside of the office are not divorced from our work. (Even the characters of Apple TV’s Severance could tell you as much!)

And that’s a good thing. Especially in positions of leadership and recruiting, we should bring our whole selves with us to work. Doing so makes us much more well rounded, relatable, and effective Attractive Leaders. And these are the types of leaders people follow and stay with for the long haul.

So while we should certainly make time to wind down, unplug, and enjoy time with our families and communities, let’s also remember that that doesn’t mean we need to leave those parts out of our work and leadership. The more we show who we are as a whole person and bring the passion we have for what we value most with us, the more attractive we will be as leaders.

Obviously, if you’re an avid horse rider or snorkeling enthusiast, that doesn’t mean you should ride your horse in the office or bring a snorkel and fins to work with you. But you can share pictures, stories and lessons from those experiences with your team and on social media. Doing so shows our team and potential recruits what drives us, what passions we pursue, and how that all contributes to our overall sense of purpose—both inside and outside the office.

Here are some questions to ask yourself to help create better alignment between your work and life:

1. Identify your purpose. What are you passionate about? Why are you passionate about it? How does this play into your daily life?​

2. What patterns do you see in how you spend your time and what activities you enjoy most?

3. What truly inspires you—both in and out of the office?

If you take some time to really sit down with yourself and jot down your answers to the above questions, you can begin to identify that continuous thread of passion, purpose, and drive in your life. Maybe it’s family, maybe it’s community, maybe it’s helping others in need—or a combination of these things. Once we find the aspects of our lives that inspire spark and fulfillment, then we can work on finding ways to better integrate them into our leadership, recruiting efforts, and all other areas.

When we come from a place of excitement and inspiration, that’s when work becomes play, and we attract like minded people to join us in our pursuit of purpose.

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