The Un-Work Life Balance

Inspired by the post of a Romanian career coach here.

Lately my days have been shattered by personal quakes. I have a grandmother who is struggling for her final breaths, a friend who just gave birth today to a beautiful baby boy, and I’m planning my wedding for the summer. In the meanwhile, I go to work, coach and blog.Security-and-Usability

I found myself overwhelmed by the petty urgent things the other day. You know, when in an hour’s time you get 20 emails, 10 phonecalls, are called in 2 meetings and the boss asks you for an urgent report.

Then I found that all these are unimportant, by being softly brought to a world where babies and grandmothers matter more, by a phone call and a discussion.

One of my clients just told me today she hoped to find a job in order to “go into the outside world“. I said “you know, people in the ‘outside world’ mostly want to escape it and live in the ‘real world’!” I meet so many people who work themselves to exhaustion and then wonder why they’re feeling claustrophobic in their cubicle. “There must be more to life than this!” they say, and then resign, become Career Renegades and move to living a yoga life in the desert somewhere.

I say these are 2 extreme positions. There should be a balance between life and work. And not the one where you’re grateful for the 1 and a half hour of awake time after you get back from the office. Like they say “On the deathbed you’re not gonna wish you’d spent more hours at work.”

The balance comes from giving precedence to what matters. Ask yourself…”What’s going to happen if…?”

What if you don’t stay the extra hour to complete that project?
What if you don’t get promoted this year, but the next?
What if you say no to that extra event you want to organize?
What if you go home earlier today?

Sure, your career might not skyrocket and be the fastest growth ever heard in the industry. But, in this world of overachievers, we secretly envy the ones who have time to go home, unwind and spend moments with their loved ones. We want to be the ones who travel and read and learn to dance and do the things they always wanted.

We’re never going to get the balance right if we don’t put extra weight on the other side.

How is it there, where you live? What takes precedence? The task list or the walk in the park?

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  • Steven | The Emotion Machine
    February 5, 2010

    Leisure is so underestimated these days! It is a shame – we now attribute enjoying life as laziness or worthlessness. We need to see a shift in values…fun and relaxation are not only important, but they are important for getting work done and being more productive. You NEED that zest in life.

    Great post – and I am sorry to hear about your grandmother. We all face difficult times like that, but it is best to keep loving whatever life offers.
    .-= Steven | The Emotion MachineĀ“s last blog ..The Uses And Abuses Of Setting Deadlines =-.

  • Maria
    February 7, 2010

    Thank you Steven. I have just about the same mindset when facing difficulties – rather than worry or be upset, look back at those times that offer reasons for gratitude.

  • Justus
    July 19, 2011

    I’m really into it, tnhkas for this great stuff!

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