Last week, I was reading my LinkedIn newsfeed and came across this quote:
“Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them: work, family, health, friends and spirit. And you’re keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls—family, health, friends and spirit—are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for balance in your life.”
– Bryan Dyson, former CEO of Coca Cola
It immediately struck me. I had never thought about work-life balance in this way, but it resonated with me. I could picture myself attempting to juggle, and occasionally dropping, all of these balls. And, like the quote suggests, my priorities were on the wrong ball. Work stayed in the air, while my family, friends and health fell to the ground.
Luckily, I never shattered any of those glass balls. They’ve all been repaired and polished to a shiny, sparkling silver glass. And work? Its bounced many times, and always ended up back in the air.
Early in your career, it’s tempting to spend all the time you can working, and it usually takes something breaking for you to realize you need to take a step back. I learned to set a time to leave at the end of the day and stick to it, limit the days I bring my work home with me, and take time off when I need it.
What balls are you juggling? How do you manage to keep them all in the air?