Work life balance – Is it a myth?
At 16 in my first year of university a lecture on sex and relationships was announced and almost the entire student body turned up .Strange in retrospect as the speaker was an Anglican bishop and possibly only an armchair expert on such matters.
I cannot remember what he said about sex and relationships but I do remember that he spoke of life being a balancing act. I understood this implicitly but when he suggested that we be explicit about this I was intrigued.
His suggestion was to think of every day as a unit of challenge so for every 24 hours the aim should be to work, play and sleep 8 hours. I decided immediately that this was sound advice and have endeavoured to do so ever since.
Of course there are times when we play or work hard and exceed the daily limit but generally it works and if we move out of these ratios we need to compensate within a week. Since that time we know a lot more about sleep and its importance in our lives and it seems he was on the right track.
As an aside I am currently addicted to the report I read recently that suggested more than 8 hours a night is slimming and I will report on this after the summer holidays where I will do personal research.
There are so many silly theories about work life balance and the particularly annoying one is the idea that only some people need balance between work and life.
If we unravel the idea we all need balance in our lives. The Arab proverb says those who drink from one well will always be thirsty. Indeed this is the antithesis of diversity.
One of my most significant bosses said to me when I mentioned the devotion of a colleague to his job (15 hours a day) that he would not be promoting him to a more responsible role as he could barely do his current one in 15 hours so he would certainly not be able to find enough time in the day for a bigger job.
Until that moment I had wondered about the culture of always being at the desk late in the day as a demonstration of loyalty and commitment and dare I say balance in favour of the organisation.
I stayed with my 8,8,8 and to date have suffered no terminal damage.
Try it and find your own balance.