The more valuable alternative to a failed work-life balance theory

Photo courtesy of flickr user woodleywonderworks

Photo courtesy of flickr user woodleywonderworks

Work-life balance is a sham. There! I’ve said it. Whew! Am I ever glad to get that off my chest.

Before you scamper for a screwdriver to tighten what may appear as an obvious loose screw, hear me out.

It wasn’t as though anyone set out to purposefully mislead the countless number of sleep-deprived entrepreneurs. In our desperation, we bought into the disinformation that led us to believe that equilibrium between one’s professional and personal life was possible.

Yes. We’ve all implemented countless strategies to achieve the utopian state known as “work-life balance.” Yet, if we take inventory of our professional/personal balance, or query our colleagues, we’re certain to find work-life balance is as elusive as unicorns and tooth fairies.

Despite decades of information designed to reduce the stress and overwhelm that accompanies too much work and too little play; work-life balance strategies are an epic fail. In fact, since the 70’s, workplace stress has risen to epidemic proportions. As an example, the number of mental stress-related cases rose from 1844 in 1981 to 15, 688 in 1999 in California alone. Today, most entrepreneurs live in a continual state of heightened anxiety. In essence, the quest for work-life balance hasn’t created the intended calm and self-fulfillment.

Take heart. There are proven, effective strategies for achieving a rich, full life brimming with fulfillment and satisfaction.

For most, work – life balance is demanding, tough, difficult, painful, and most times, impossible. In order to meet the growing demands of our professional and personal lives, our approach to a happy, accomplished life must also advance.

Goodbye Work-Life Balance. Hello Time for Life.

Here are four strategies guaranteed to coach you to greater fulfillment.

  1. Reboot
    I call this “running away from home.” And, who doesn’t love the idea of reliving that childhood fantasy. Escaping the daily grind encourages relaxation, which is quickly followed by piercing clarity.

  3. Redefine
    Rather than filling each day with the demands thrust upon you, re-define what success is for you.

  5. Rejuvenate
    Nurture an understanding of what feeds your soul. What simple, profound actions induce recovery and fuel a rebound? Can these be made non-negotiable for a life of fulfillment, satisfaction, and success?

  7. Reduce stress
    Feeling stressed? Overwhelmed? It’s likely your expectations are out of touch with reality. Discover for yourself what needs to take place to bridge the expectation-reality gap.

Work-life balance, established with the best of intentions, has gone the way of cassette players, VHS recorders, and pet rocks. Today’s entrepreneur deserves a different, more effective approach for creating a happy, fulfilled, satisfied personal and professional life.

This article first appeared on Synnovatia’s business coaching blog.

About Jackie Nagel

Jackie Nagel, Founder of Synnovatia, teams up with small business owners and entrepreneurs to develop strategic solutions to improve performance and accelerate business growth. By customizing business strategies to match the needs, desires, goals, and work style of the business owner, Synnovatia’s clients enjoy improved productivity, increased profitability, and accelerated business growth. In fact, her clients routinely enjoy an accelerated growth rate of 20 - 50%. As a business owner since 1978, Ms. Nagel knows first hand the ins and outs of growing a successful enterprise. She’s experienced the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. And, most importantly, she has a keen sense of what it takes to succeed in the 21st Century. Her style is direct, energetic, innovative, focused, and encouraging…with just the right mix of robust laughter. In addition to being nominated as Valedictorian from the “The School Of Hard Knocks”, Jackie received training at Coach University and Corporate Coach University International, is certified as a Personal Coaching Styles Inventory Trainer and Teleclass Leader, and received the Management Development of Entrepreneur (MDE) Certification from The Anderson School of Business UCLA. Follow on Google +.



  1. What millennials want at work and why you should give it to them | TDS Business - June 19, 2015

    […] hours in a box? I think my fellow blogger Jackie Nagel put it best in one of her recent posts, “Work-life balance is a sham.” People are working longer days and the boundaries that used to exist between home and work are […]

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