Work-Life Balance is a Myth

I just loved chatting with Matt on our most recent podcast episode (, and we talked about a devotional at Ensign College where Elder David A. Bednar proclaimed that balance was a myth because when you are focusing on something you are inadvertently neglecting something else. He illustrated this by talking about an acrobat who performs a trick with spinning plates on a stick on different parts of their body. He stated that he observed that they never have the plates spinning at exactly the same time and speed. This is what people are suggesting we do with work-life balance and it just will not work. He went on to say that each us is capable of balancing different amounts of plates or priorities (i.e. personal development, family, service, etc) but that we can only truly focus our full focus on one given plate at a given moment of time. We have to choose which plate/priority to focus our attention on at each moment of time, and that choice is what signals to others what our priority is and if we are truly present.

Famed leadership guru Simon Sinek also talks about this, albeit in somewhat different language. He describes balance as requiring two opposing forces that need to compete in order to create balance. In this case those forces would be work and life, which he says those forces shouldn’t be competing but should be flowing together more if we want to have the life that has true harmony. He gives some more great insight on this principle in this YouTube video below (

Matt also talked about the importance of boundaries in our discussion and how this plays into this topic. It is creating those boundaries that allows work and life to flow properly together. Setting boundaries helps us choose where to be present and assists in setting tone with others to be fully present in our environment, making the most of the moments we have. Matt described his boundaries with his cell phone, talking about how these intentional boundaries enable him to use these devices as the tools they are designed to be instead of allowing them to become masters over us. As Servant-Leaders, we should be setting healthy boundaries and helping others set healthy boundaries so that everyone can be more fully present in their environment at a given moment. The episode with Matt has some great insights to think about these concepts and begin applying them in your life more intentionally.

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