03 Dec Striking a Balance
Many baby boomers grew up with the notion that “you can have it all”. This belief was captured in the decade long Michelob Light commercial promoting the fact that you could drink beer but not consume a lot of calories.
Many boomers carried this philosophy into their professional and personal lives and believed there were not any consequences or trade-offs associated with dedicating yourself to your career.
It’s impossible to be two places at once and many “boomers” (women and men) have missed countless family gatherings, children’s sports events, etc. due to career commitments.
Thankfully, the younger generation has technologies in place that better help with life balance. With good planning, balance and technology you can almost have it all.
One of the biggest obstacles to achieving life balance is the traditional work/family/sleep schedule wherein days are broken into large blocks of work (8am to 6pm), family and leisure (7pm to 10pm), sleep (10pm to 6am) and then we do it all over again until the weekend when we zone out and forget work for 2 days:
Thinking of life as a continuous 24/7 process and breaking the day into small blocks of work, leisure, exercise, etc. provides me far more balance, helps maintain intellectual stamina and creativity and allows me to achieve more personal and professional goals.
And, I have a lot of fun!
So, I do not set a traditional schedule. Rather, I work early in the morning from home, then exercise and go to the office mid-morning. Additionally, I take frequent breaks to call friends/family, read and meditate throughout the day. Some days I even take a nap or long walk to refresh. And, I usually catch up on emails in the evenings and frequently schedule internal meetings on weekends.
When I travel, I am accessible to work.
I look at my workday in a cyclical manner – I break my day up into pockets of time and plan accordingly (not a standard 9-5 M-F block). I never truly take a day off from work, but by the same token, I never grind for 8-10 hours straight.
Most people don’t subscribe to this thinking and return from vacations to a pile of work, 1,000 unopened emails and unsolved problems. Immediately upon returning to work, their relaxing vacation is replaced by instant stress. Think how different their return would be if they plugged in for an hour or two hour a day while they were away?
Some might argue this schedule limits personal life, but I strongly disagree. The flexible 24/7 workweek is what affords me time and presence to enjoy a full personal life and it limits stress because I handle most problems as they arise.
I’m not advocating more work hours; I’m advocating more work/life balance with a 24/7 view toward the day that mixes work, leisure, exercise and fun throughout.
“Work, love and play are the great balance wheels of man’s being.”– Orison Swett Marden
Robert Scheer, Founder & President
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