The Myth of Work-Life Balance

When asked about how she creates work-life balance, Melanie Liddle Healey, group president-North America, Procter & Gamble, bluntly told a group at a women and leadership conference, “I don’t believe in work-life balance. There is no balance.”

That doesn’t mean we should all become discouraged. She suggested three ways to have a happy life.

The first, she said, is to know when things in your life aren’t working. Once you recognize that, you can make changes.

Communicating expectations also is key. When she returned from maternity leave, she knew she wanted to be home to have dinner with her family. She spoke with her boss and explained that she would be 100 percent focused on her job between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. She also asked him to ensure that meetings ended by 6 p.m. He agreed.

Finally, she said to drop guilt. “It will eat you up,” she observed. Instead, she said you should delegate those things that don’t add much value and cherish those that mean the most.

It’s a good road map if only we would follow it.

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