Why Work-Life Balance Gets It Wrong — Try the Wheel of Life Instead

Aug 8, 2023

Why Work-Life Balance Gets It Wrong — Try the Wheel of Life Instead

by | Aug 8, 2023

We talk a lot about work-life balance, but balance is hard to achieve. One little tip of the scale can throw everything out of whack. 

Also, the  term “work-life” implies that there are only two binary states: there is work, and there is everything else — and that somehow those two things are supposed to balance out. That sounds like an awful lot of things to cram into the “life” side of the scale.

What if we look at the whole thing as “life”?

Life is made up of so many different pieces, and work is just one of them. It's not about balance; it's about flow. It's about moving between all the different pieces of our life — work, relationships, health, personal development, hobbies, and everything else — and pouring attention where it's needed, then flowing to another section to do the same. 

What’s the Wheel of Life?

One tool to help visualize all these areas is called the Wheel of Life. The Wheel of Life is like a pie chart with a wedge for each of the different areas in your life. Your chart can have whatever areas are important to you. Here’s what I’m using now:

  • Health
  • Personal Development
  • Spirituality 
  • Hobbies
  • Finances
  • Friends
  • Business/Work
  • Relationships

You need time for all of these areas (or whatever areas you choose). Key thing to notice? Your business is only one slice of the pie — equal to each of the others. 

Get the Wheel of Life worksheet — and so much more — in the FREE book bonuses for Focused: Reclaim Your Time, Ditch Overwhelm, and Do Less Better

Assess Your Whole Life Each 90 Days

Visit the Wheel of Life each season or quarter to look at where are doing great and what needs more attention: 

Here’s how to do this assessment:

  1. Rank how you are feeling about each area on a scale of 1–10. An 8 or 9 means it is flowing really well — you’ve been able to give that area some attention, and it's feeling pretty good. A 2 or 3 doesn't mean you are bad or out of balance. It serves as an indication that it is time to flow some energy and attention into that area. 
  2. Pick 1–3 sections that could use some attention for the next 90 days. (You can choose any amount, but a season or quarter works well for me). You don't have to focus on all the areas all the time! That’s a Hustle Culture mindset. Remember we’re trying to embrace Focus Culture. 
  3. For each of those sections, choose 1–3 things that would help raise it ONE number. Notice I didn’t say move that section up to a 10. Just focus on improving by one. If your personal development is feeling like a 2, what is one thing you could do to make it feel like a 3? That is a lot more doable, and a lot less pressure, than trying to jump from a 2 to a 10!

    For example, if your health needs a little attention, you could schedule all your annual appointments or do an exercise challenge or track your water intake. To bump finances up a number, you might schedule a Focus Session to check in with your finances every Friday.
  4. Revisit this Wheel of Life regularly to track your progress. Quarterly is a great goal, but choose another time period if it works better for you. You can pick a new area to focus on for the next 90 days, or pick the same areas and choose another way to move up one more number. 

The Wheel of Life is just one of the tools we use to make sure we are focusing on the things that really matter. Learn about other tools that help you get at the big picture — and how to then break that down and actually focus on what matters with Focused: Reclaim Your Time, Ditch Overwhelm, and Do Less Better. 

What slices of the life pie need attention from you right now? What happens when you look at the whole picture, not just business and everything else? 


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Ready to Focus?

Sign up here to get your FREE Focus Session.