Beyond Balance—Changing the Construct

There’s some very interesting discussions going on in this blog and elsewhere about work-life balance (see Jessie’s “Waste Not, Want Not?”; Carolyn Elefant’s “The Importance of Planning a Career,” and all the fabulous comments these have generated). To say nothing of entire blogs devoted to the topic (such as The WSJ’s The Juggle by Sara Schaefer Muñoz). So I’m adding something else into the mix: Beyond Balance, A Legal Sanity Learning Programs Eguide PDF, by Lori Herz and Arnie Herz, who blog over at Legal Sanity. Similar to Deborah Epstein Henry just wrote about, Beyond Balance gets at how we think about our lives, both as lawyers and as people, and how the “balance” construct is not so helpful. Beyond Balance points out that “balance” makes you think in a zero-sum manner: what comes to mind is “a see-saw,” “equilibrium,” “a balance beam,” and so forth. Instead, the authors suggest thinking of work-life synergy, where instead of work taking away from life, or vice versa, they are mutually reinforcing. This is a much more positive way of approaching such a difficult topic, and Beyond Balance is worth a read.

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