The myth of a balanced life

Living ‘a balanced life‘ is one that can lead you to mediocrity.

That’s fine if that’s what you want, but if you are reading this, I’m willing to bet that being mediocre holds no appeal.

And I don’t mean devoting your entire life to work at the cost of spending time on your mental and physical health, with your family and friends, and getting enough sleep. If you neglect your personal life so you can do more work, the cost will eventually outweigh the benefit, sooner or later.

What I mean is thinking that you need this kind of balance when it comes to your work as well. If you give equal time and attention to the different issues in your work life, then your results are likely to be average.

As Gary Keller said in the book ‘The One Thing’, extraordinary results demand that you set a priority and act on it.

What this means is that you need to go way out of balance and work solely on your most important priority, at the expense of everything else, for long periods of time.

You can think of work as being divided into two separate areas. In one area is what matters, and in the other is everything else. Get used to working on what matters most of the time, focus on them, and neglect the other things. Let your work issues get way out of balance, and then occasionally counter-balance them.

Ignore the different aspects of your personal life at your peril. You can achieve extraordinary things in your work without sacrificing your relationships, your health, or your integrity.

Now, as Seth Godin likes to say, go make a ruckus.