The New Need for the Act of Balancing
When do you really stop taking in new features in a product under development? When do you stop coding because you are convinced that you have taken all ideal best practices into consideration? When do you stop testing for a product because you have affirmed its release readiness? Not only in software engineering but also in everyday life, we face a multitude of situations where we have to balance the attributes under consideration. While feature analysis, coding practices, and testing strategies may all have scientific principles that drive them, the act of balancing is an art that comes with experience.
Prioritization is a skill that helps determine when and where to balance, both in professional and personal lives. Dallin H. Oaks said, “Desires dictate our priorities, priorities shape our choices, and choices determine our actions”. The act of balancing is important when we prioritize our choices. In fact, these two attributes are so closely tied that it is important to balance our priorities and prioritize our balance. For some, this could mean work-life balance, balance just at work at various levels and stages, or balance just among home priorities.
While the need to balance may have been important all along, it is even more important in today’s COVID-19 dominated lifestyle. Most of us now work remotely, multi-task home and work chores, manage children and seniors, and pay extra attention to ensure our family’s health, all while continuing our daily business as usual. Similarly, organizations handle regular ongoing business projects while taking on new assignments necessitated by COVID-19, manage business continuity while ensuring overall employee empathy and humane-centered operations, work through the lockdown while planning for the un-lockdown, and determine what balance to strike when employees return to work ensuring ongoing productivity, all while still balancing everyone’s safety. These are definitely not easy choices.
Given the new style of remote working and the chaos that came with COVID-19, work-life balance is in jeopardy. An imbalance is certainly not healthy in the long run, so organizations and individuals are attempting various strategies to ensure sanity. Over time and with experience using various strategies, the required level of balance will become viable.
There is no good without bad. Yin and yang aren’t new to us. When promoting mind-body balance, yoga and meditation have reached a new global level of appreciation. COVID-19 can be seen as nature’s way of reinstating balance—cleansing itself and restoring new meaning to an otherwise fast-paced, futuristic, and aggressive world we had created for ourselves, especially in the past few decades. Let’s consciously understand the new meaning of balance in a post-COVID world—or rather a world where we may need to co-exist with COVID. Achieving balance will be a new valuable skill that helps us smoothly sail the professional and personal waters.