I’ve been thinking a lot about work-life balance lately. I used to see it as a balancing scale that should remain on the same position at all times. However, I believe a better mental model is to see it as ebb and flow.
There are times you need to focus on work. There are times you need to focus on life. There are times you can focus on either. Transitioning between these states can happen in a forced way (circumstance), or you can slowly move towards a new area like ebb and flow.
The trick is to learn to pace yourself moving in one direction, or you’ll become overwhelmed. Don’t let ebb become drought, or flow become flood. If you try to maintain an arbitrary, exact balance at all times, you risk not moving forward on any focus area.
This can be applied to other places as well, like working on a main project vs a side project, or maintaining essential vs accidental complexity in a software project.