I read an article which said Life Balance is out Life Blend is in. I say “Right”. There seems to be a big push for the work-life blend (it used to be work-life balance but that was not working). When one thing doesn’t work we tend to want to rename it and hope no one notices. And so it is with the work-life blend.
Work life blend is a fancy way for employers to make people feel they can accomplish seeing an end to the insurmountable stack of work that has been thrust upon them.
You wake up and rush to get dressed so you can rush out of the house, barely with something edible for breakfast. You dash over to Starbucks to stand in line for a cup of coffee or tea…maybe?. Then you jump in your car make a mad dash for the office and find you are held up in traffic. And although it’s illegal to use your cell phone while in the process of driving, you decide that while waiting for this traffic to move over for you and get out of YOUR way, you will “just” answer a few quick emails, which is never quick. So, you end up having a full on dialogue about your simple email. Nothing accomplished there. The stress begins to build up and you sit nervously in your car fidgeting, waiting for this traffic light to change so traffic can start to move again because they need to understand that you need to get to work! Already your life feels out of control but you continue to push forward.
Finally, you arrive in the parking lot at work with a million things to do going through your mind. And that’s not what’s been written in your planner. Oh, the planner…you mean the one that you use when you are more overwhelmed than now?
So you rush to get into the office and to your desk so you can start your day that really started before you left the day before. It’s a continuous cycle. Almost like the superhighway. You are pulled in what seems like a thousand directions that you do not make time to check in with your family. Eight to 12 hour days in an office is a long time to be away from your support system (no not the one at work they support you working until they bleed you dry…until you develop a tick and become catatonic). And why are you allowing the boss to decide the best plan of action for your Work-Life Blend? After all, if you crash that support system, the one which is your biggest cheerleader, your biggest fan, is the one who will be standing by waiting to put you back together.
In the equation Work-Life Balance/Work-Life Blend, I only see work. I see no life and that blend? That’s the work taking over your life only to be disguised as Work-Life Blend. While families and friends are put on hold you are still trying to figure out your Work-Life Blend with the promise that things will get better and then you will spend some time. All the while the clock is ticking your life balance/life blend away.