Have you ever had a very busy day or week at which’s end you feel like you got absolutely nothing done? Of course you have.
Just a couple of days ago I was sitting still through a guided meditation when the pre-recorded female voice said something that struck a nerve:
The daily rush against the clock provides the illusion that the more we do and the more we accomplish is what drives our success. This is a misinformed and counterintuitive belief.
Just last week I came across an article written by Paul Boag from Headscape aptly titled You Are Not A Machine. You Are Not Alone. I really encourage you to read it.
Paul discusses a silent struggle that many of us battle with on a daily basis: overworking, stressing, keeping to ourselves, bearing too much, the list goes on.
I agree with him that there is something wrong with the industry: we are expected to work 24/7 to just barely stay competitive. When this couldn’t be farther from the truth.
We need time off, and it’s ok. It’s as simple as that.
Overworking, long hours, stressing and not having any means to vent is not only unproductive but very dangerous for our mental health.
The current state of mind that we need to work all day, all week and be available via email, IM or whatever other means 24/7 is wrong.
We are only human, we need to disconnect. We need leisure. We need time to sit in our boxers and watch all of the ‘Friends’ re-runs from time to time.
I’d like to end this post with my favorite paragraph from Paul’s article:
This post gives you permission. Permission to stop being a machine and become a human being. Permission to spend some days in your pants watching daytime TV rather than working. Permission to be honest about your fears and stresses. Permission to tell somebody you are struggling and get help.
The topic of the future of work-life balance has been catching my interest lately. I’m always looking for creative ways both to run a company and motivate myself and my team.
But, will we ever find the perfect balance? I’m not sure. But the future looks pretty exciting if you ask me.
We’re already living in a post-industrial society (defined as that point where revenue from services generates more wealth than manufacturing) and the fact that a lot of service industry jobs rely on just access to a computer, opens up a lot of doors.
For a couple of years now there has been a lot of discussion and books around the 4-day workweek, the 3-day workweek and remote work. Forbes posted a great article last year on the benefits of cutting the workweek short.
So we’re talking about a not so distant future where we work 4 or even 3 days out of the week. Or maybe there will be no schedules. Many companies are now shifting to a result-driven approach instead of the usual nine to fiver. The remote work movement has gained tremendous support over the last two years.
Combine everything and we get 3-4 day workweeks, where we manage our schedules and work from home (or wherever we want). Everyone may not be ready for it, but I honestly think that’s where we are heading.
A great deal of compromise, dedication and responsibility is required by a company and it’s employees to accomplish such a feat, but then again in today’s world these should never be overlooked by anyone.
Since my son was born, my family has required more of my time than before. I expected that, just not this much time! I’m in a spot right now where I think I’ve found a good balance. I work, I hustle and I do it wherever I am. I schedule work hours around the time my family needs me around.
And even though there’s so much to do, I’ve also managed to make time to relax, enjoy a glass of wine with my wife before bed and even got back to playing xbox online with my friends.
Here’s the punchline: my company is doing better than ever. Sitting down 9-5pm on a desk does not equal productivity.
My mind has shifted now towards the industry as a whole. Is it time for a big shift? I think so. Both companies and employees should be aligned to each others needs.
I’m seriously considering a mix of remote work and reduced workweek for the agency (but don’t tell anyone who works there, yet.).
Have you experienced, worked or implemented a work-life mindset shift? I’d love to know!