Knowledge Bomb: Work / Life Balance


July 20, 2018

As creators, we push ourselves daily to do our best work. This often involves finding inspiration outside of work.

Yet American culture is notorious for long work days and poor work/life balance.

This tension is one reason work/life balance is a trending topic in the work community right now. It feels like a life-sized version of Jenga that– quite frankly – is impossible to win!

As Marc framed it,

He’s not the only one who feels this way.

In July, members gathered together in Slack to chat through this issue. What does balance mean? Is it possible? How do other gig workers handle this?

Read below for some of their insights.

Two definitions of work/life balance
Picture a set of scales where work is on the left side and life is on the right side. For many members, work/life balance means keeping these scales in equilibrium.

Others, though, enjoy work so much that they have little interest in the “balance” described above. These entrepreneurs find work energizing; they have little interest in other hobbies.

For this second group, balance is devoting the  maximum amount of time to the work they love, without adverse effects to close relationships.

What we stand to lose
Members who’d like to equalize life and work lose far more than Netflix-and-chill time when the scales tip heavily toward work:

There are real emotional, mental, and physical side effects to overwork. Noticing those side effects is one way we can recognize when we’re imbalanced.

How we walk the line
Balance is difficult, but it is not impossible. Members use a variety of creative constraints to strike balance and avoid the adverse side effects of overwork:

Speaking of exercise, we wouldn’t be surprised if a SOCO kickball team came out of this comment:

When things get out of whack, hit reset

Life will always toss us curve balls that throw off our balance. When members reach inevitable tipping points, they reboot in a few ways:

One other balancing act secret…

Turns out, one other way members find balance is SOCO! (We’re blushing.)

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