2.1 The Myth of Work-Life Balance

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I'm gonna share with you the secret formula to work-life balance, so listen carefully. And then to manage your work and your life in a way so that most of the time you achieve your work-life balance and know it's gonna change, and know that, that is okay. And he wound up staying late on a Friday evening because he didn't pay attention to doing his work at the right time, in the right order.

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We often, maybe even mostly, let our schedule schedule itself, ignoring the fact that time, not money, is our only true leadership asset. Tom Peters. So, who’s Tom Peters? Tom Peters is a leadership guru who’s known for In Search Of Excellence and also Brand You. Year ago, you know, he hit, hit upon the idea that we are each our own individual brand. And that brand is what defines us as we move forward with our careers. He continues to write and he continues to blog on leadership. What is the one resource you can never have more of? Did you say time? So, way to go, right on. We cannot create time. There are only 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week, 365 days in a year. And so it’s important that you spend your time in the most beneficial way possible. And by beneficial, I really mean beneficial to you. Spend your time in the way that’s gonna bring you what you want from your life. It is time to talk about work-life balance. In fact, if you’re ready. I’m gonna share with you the secret formula to work-life balance, so listen carefully. The formula is, the formula is what you make it. I cannot tell you exactly how many hours to work and how many hours to play, or spend with your family. It’s a personal decision. It’s, it depends on your values, and it changes. When I was brand new in the workforce, I was eager to work and to learn. And to get ahead, I worked many hours. My coworkers were my friends anyway. We were all there together, new out of college. And we went out. When we weren’t working, we went out after hours, so I was at work 24, 7. There have been times in my life where, although I enjoyed my work, it was more important for me to spend time with my family and friends away from the office. There have been times where I worked 70-hour weeks. And that was completely happy doing that. And there have times when I worked 40-hour weeks and I was completely happy doing that. The key was that my work life fit my definition of work-life balance. And so, it’s up to you to decide what your definition of work-life balance is. And then to manage your work and your life in a way so that most of the time you achieve your work-life balance and know it’s gonna change, and know that, that is okay. You’ve got more control over this than you think. Remember in our previous module we talked about Sam? And he wound up staying late on a Friday evening because he didn’t pay attention to doing his work at the right time, in the right order. And he didn’t have a plan. So if working late on a Friday evening goes against his idea of work-life balance, then he was probably not very happy. But he did have a bit of control over this situation. And I’m not promising you that you will never be asked to work more hours than you want. And I’m not promising you that you will never have to work late, or to work a weekend. But if you do not think about what you want, you do not know how to put yourself in the right situations. You teach people how to treat you. So here’s a story that’s gonna help illustrate this point. A client of mine was unhappy because her boss would text her 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And she felt, you know, like he was being way too demanding. And she was tired and she was stressed. And if she heard a text come in at 2 a.m and she was sleeping, she would wake up and she would reply to it. And I asked her about her job description and about the expectations that had been set when she came, what was mapped out for her when she started. And I asked, does everyone in the office answer your boss 24, 7? And she said that she had always done this from the very first day because she wanted to make a good impression on him. Sure, you know, some people do expect you to answer them 24, 7. But sometimes you’re the one setting the example by being available 24, 7, and that’s exactly what my client had done. And then she became afraid to change the nature of her communications relationship with her manager. And she had taught him that she would be on call 24, 7. You teach people how to treat you and unless otherwise specified in your job description, it’s okay to set some boundaries.

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