There is no such thing as Work Life Balance

David Such
4 min readAug 9, 2023

Work Life Balance is a load of rubbish. No such thing exists. There is only life and the things you choose to do with it, that may be work, or it may be something else. If you want to know what your true priorities are, measure what you spend your time doing.

In a world where smartphones and laptops have become extensions of our limbs, and office meetings invade our dreams like unexpected party crashers, the concept of Work Life Balance has taken on an air of whimsical fantasy. Like unicorns or politicians who always keep their promises, it’s something that everyone talks about but no one has seen in the wild.

According to the Fast and Furious movie franchise, family is the most important thing, but if you do the numbers — I bet it isn’t. On average the top three activities each day are sleeping, working and eating (Figure 1). Those are your real priorities.

Figure 1. How do people spend their time? Image Credit: https://ourworldindata.org/time-use#

Some may argue that they have family time during meals, but let’s drill into that. Meals probably means dinner and the majority of families have their TV on during meals. Even if you aren’t distracted and do spend quality time, if dinner takes 20 minutes, that is 0.01% of your day!

The Work Life Balance debate suggests there is a magical state that we can achieve where we spend half our time doing something we are passionate about and half…

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David Such

Reefwing Software · Embedded Systems Engineer · iOS & AI Development · Robotics · Drones · Arduino · Raspberry Pi · Flight Control