Home > Career Advancement, Job Hunting, Live Well Live Wisely, Self-Improvement > Forget about Goal-setting on Work/Life Balance

Forget about Goal-setting on Work/Life Balance

When I was still in elementary school, I put down a comprehensive daily schedule on paper on the first day of every summer vacation. I put it up on the wall, my parents were always so impressed with all the detailed items I listed, which included certain time slots for doing homework, reading books, studying English, watching TV, and even taking naps. And then I forgot about it in 2 days. 

The reality is: a lot of people like to plan, but not sticking to their plan. Just think about how many people stick to their New Year resolution just one month into it? 

When I was a  junior at college I went to this information session hosted by one of the famous investment banks. In the Q&A session one of the students asked: What are good questions to ask at an interview?

The lady put on spot smiled and said, well I don’t have a list of good questions but I certainly know some of the bad ones. For example, how is the work/life balance at your firm? You do realize you’re trying to get an investment banking position right? There is NO work/life balance.

Everybody started laughing, well at least it was true back then. That’s when we still had Lehman. 

So, if setting goals on work/life balance will not make much sense, and the nature of certain jobs simply does not embrace much balance to start with, what do you do, if anything at all? 

In fact, is there such a thing called work-life balance at all? You make your choices every day and you try your best. Some days you felt like great and you accomplished a lot, you finished your work quickly, you went to the gym, you had dinner with your secret crush, and you called your parents before going to bed. Still some other days you felt like a total failure, everything was messed up at work, the only other person on the same project was sick, your electricity bill was overdue, you had to cancel drinks with friends from out of town, and you stayed up late until 3am because you got a new assignment at 11pm right after you’re done with the other one. 

But it’s ok. It’s normal, and it happens to everyone. You make your choices everyday and you know what is important to you. Live with the compromises you have to make, and life will only unfold more amazing things.

Are you happy with your work/life balance situation right now? If you care to share, how have you been dealing with it?


  1. Yuqing
    August 28, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    It is all about balance. I am keeping work 9/5 although I get up at 6am or earlier. I have other things to do to keep my working hours highly productive.
    People say that I seem to have a easy job. But that is not true. It is more like
    that I shape my job in such a way that live is fulfilling. Often work is not really onerous tasks that I am force to finish. It is more like I am playing only people pay me to do that.

    As Stephen Covey puts it, hight effective life involves the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual. All four parts have be to satisfied.

    • September 2, 2010 at 2:37 pm

      Interesting way to look at your job and I hope other people in similar positions will look at their job in the same way! I value efficiency on top of my list as well and I would definitely try my best to do as much as I can during the day so as not to stay too late in evening hours. But I do want to mention that sometimes socializing with teammates/other coworkers is also important, this can be a distraction, but it will be nice to get to know them better (let them get to know you better too) and feel more refreshed after some jokes/coffee breaks, etc.

  2. November 30, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    Actually genuinely great weblog article which has received me considering. I by no means looked at this from the stage of look at.

  1. June 23, 2010 at 11:53 am
  2. June 23, 2010 at 10:10 pm

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