Work-life balance. Not a thing anymore. Come on, you know it’s true. Trying to put a firewall of some kind between your life and your work doesn’t work. I once had a lead who strongly suggested that we restrict the use of mobile phones during work hours. A classic work/life divide initiative. The thought was that sans mobile devices, our team would be more productive. Didn’t fly with me. I redirected his focus to establishing and communicating clearer production standards. That way, the team member could organize their own day in their own way with more certainty. Then, if the team member needed to make some calls, send texts, or just zone out on social media for a few minutes, they could figure out for themselves how to make it all fit. The term of art now is work-life integration. Ugh. For me, this still falls flat. I prefer to just call it life. It looks like this: “I have this day (0500 – 2100) and I want to do this array of things. How can I do that?” “Things” in this sense are everything from work projects, to offsite meetings, to personal time, to family time. There is no “work” time and “personal” time, there is just time. With this mindset, the problem turns to prioritization. What should we be doing?
Future leader speaker and author of the book Future Leader: Rebooting Leadership to Win the Millennial and Tech Future. Free stuff! Get the first five chapters of my new book, an executive summary, and the Future Leader Companion Workbook here.