Work-life balance is one of those topics that is constantly being discussed. Many of us try very hard to keep everything in balance at home and at work. However, we spend so much energy doing this, we tend to miss the good stuff.

I am a firm believer that there are three areas we need to focus on if we want to be successful: family, career, and self (See the article here: If all three of these areas are healthy, we are happy and fulfilled. So, if you imagine this huge three-way scale with a leaking bucket on each leg. Each day we go to the well and pour water into the buckets. As they leak, the scale tips and we scamper to re-fill and rebalance. It can take all of our energy to maintain this.

I have had many seasons in my life where I had a solid routine laid out and was able to keep the buckets balanced. However, nothing great ever comes out of those seasons. When I was working on college, I would have to miss tv time with my wife or pass on other leisure activities. My scales were tipped for awhile, but they eventually returned and I was better off. Same thing happened when my children were born. I was a selfless zombie who did nothing extra at work.

We need to tip the scales every now and then to achieve big things. In his book, The One Thing, Gary Keller calls this counterbalance. He teaches that the great things in life come when we are focused on one thing at a time. The trick is that we need to refocus after we achieve the big things. For example, when it is time to study for promotion, it is way more beneficial to study for hours each day than to do just 10 minutes to keep the balance. We need to go full speed into the one thing. THEN we need to be sure to go all in on something in another area of our life next.

Life feels good when our scales our balanced, but we are leaders who are made to do big things for those on our teams and in our lives. Just make sure you are not always going all-in in the same area while ignoring the others.