Work Life Balance is Bollocks

Written by Adam Hempenstall
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Let's assume a 40-hour work week

In order to have a proper work life balance, you'd need to have the 'life' part being 40-hours too. Seems simple enough. What people refer to when they talk about the 'life' part though is things like going out, partying, socialising, adventure, holidays, exercise, cooking, DIY, sport, watching TV.

Here's the problem

You can't do 40-hours of that stuff in a week if you have a 40-hour work week. There's not enough time. What ends up happening is you end up cutting your work short and working less to accommodate for the life part, but still not having enough time to do everything you want to do. Net result: Not happy with work results (because you're not working enough) and not happy with the amount you're able to enjoy yourself.

Solution 1: Mix it all up

I like to do a mix of both solutions but I lead with this. Say you want to work, earn money and spend it going away somewhere nice. Well here's a novel idea - how about going somewhere nice, expensing the flights and working anyway. To some of you, that might seem dumb but let's be real. You are a business owner, are you really going to sit around and not do ANY WORK for the entire time? Nonsense. Don't kid yourself. Just embrace it and mix the two together. I'm not suggesting work the entire time you're away but do it in a smarter way. Sunbathe during the day if that's your thing and work when the sun's gone down. A funny thing happens when you're working on holidays. You don't fuck about. You get in, you get it done and you get off the computer again. Give it some thought. If that idea doesn't work for you, then you'll be more a fan of this.

Solution 2: Plan the 'Life' part and work around it.

We all do this to some extent but I think we could do more of it. Here are a list of the ridiculous things I plan my work around: Sounds ridiculous doesn't it? I can't work now because I need to chop carrots. Yes, it's dumb, but if you want an epic meal that needed prepping at 3pm to eat for 8pm then you need to schedule that in. You will not catch me near a laptop when Barca are playing. No chance. My Dad works mad shift patterns mixing days and nights. I'm getting older. I'm well aware that one day, the guy isn't going to be around to have coffee with and learn from. I want to take advantage of that now. If he's got a Tuesday and Wednesday daytime free, I'm going to go and hang out with him for a couple of hours. Work can wait. You can't be using chop saws at 10pm and expect to still get a Christmas card from your neighbour. Do that stuff during the day and work later.

In conclusion

Your life is more important than your work. Of course you enjoy your work. I do too. I have the best job in the world but if you neglect the real fun. Things like the countries you want to visit, people you want to meet, shows you want to see and things you want to do then you'll never be happy with your life. You'll always feel stressed. You never want your work effort to feel like a bad deal. Enjoy.

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