Thursday, October 23, 2014

Is Work/Life Balance an Oxymoron?

As many of you know, October is the time of year when financial markets tend to be their spookiest. Add to that the Ebola crisis, ISIS, roller coaster weather (at least here in the Northeast) and November elections. It’s no wonder that many of us are not “in the zone” as much as we’d like to be at work.

Being deluged by a 24/7 news cycle doesn’t help. Neither does earlier darkness and later sunrise this time of year. We’ve talked before in this blog about unplugging from the grid and taking the time to think on a regular basis. But, how do you keep all your clients, partners and customers happy without disappointing your family, friends and community organizations--especially at night and on weekends?
Vivian Giang outlined nine definitions of work-life balance for entrepreneurs in Fast Company recently. Hubspot CEO, Brian Halligan, said you have to take a break from email so you can actually think and get in to that state of “relaxed attention.” His big goal for the next year? “Think more and work less.” Natalie Madeira Cofield, head of the Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce said you should remember that life is a “marathon, not a sprint” and that you don’t have to accomplish all your goals by the time you reach a certain age. Better pacing, she implied, will foster better long-term results. Nick Taranto, cofounder of observed: “You can only cut so many pieces from the pie. Work-life balance means making decisions around where, who, and what you're going to sacrifice, because you can't do it all,” said Taranto. “When I was in my early twenties, I said, ‘F*** those old guys, I don't need balance. I can do it all.’ ... but I was juggling too many balls and was dropping a lot of them,” Taranto added.

Demandbase founder, Chris Golec, may have summed it up best: “We all have to work a lot, but lack of balance happens when people start to feel guilty about taking time to meet their out-of-work commitments. It really all comes back to the flexibility, trust, and respect with your work and personal relationships.”

And don’t forget regular consistent sleep, something many of the FastCompany interview subjects alluded to. We’ve found here at HB that it’s not how many hours of sleep you get every night, it’s about hitting the sack and waking up on a consistent basis so your internal clock doesn’t get thrown off—especially during the October witching hours.

Our blog has more, as does the FREE Resources page of our website.
TAGS: Work life balance Vivian Giang, Fast Company, Brian Halligan, Natalie Madeira Cofield, Nick Taranto, Chris Golec, unplug from the grid

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