Work/Life Balance — or integration?
To me this comes naturally. I work at home. I am in a sense always working. I blend work and play, as well as blending play and work. I bring work with me on vacation, and bring play to my daily work routine. How is this possible? I work from home and take regular breaks where I drive to other cities to relax.
Balancing work and life
Many people have trouble balancing work and life. They go to offices. They work when they are at work. Then they come home to be with their family. Some work too much, others too little. Some are lazy while they are working and accomplish very little in their eight required hours. Others work fast and get tons of work done. Those who overwork are the ones that have trouble balancing work and life, because they are at the office too many hours a day. Those who leave immediately at 5pm generally have trouble balancing their retirement funds — because there is very little to balance.
For me, it is easy. I work, take breaks, go back to work, take a walk, work, sleep, work, etc. I enjoy living like this and I am passionate about my work as well as my play. Play rejuvinates you for work, and work makes you ready to play. Being stuck at an office is good for many. For those who do not have a good work environment at home, or who lack the discipline to work hard at home, an office is the only way to get anything done. But, for those who can function at home, we have greater flexibility.
Don’t work regular hours
I’m not saying that working regular hours is bad for business, but it is bad for work / life integration. If you work, then take a break, then go back to work, then take your walk, go out to dinner, and come back and work until 2am, you have achieved integration. Ooops, I forgot to include meditation and spiritual rituals. Spirituality creates balance in our lives. It happens very naturally if you meditate an hour or two per day. But, how can you do all of this blending if you work in a stifling office environment. Work from 9-12, take exactly 60 minutes for lunch, then work from 1-5. Ouch. Can you take a late lunch or even go to a dentist appointment without getting fired? Can you create the type of flexibility that I enjoy in an office?
Offices need to rethink how they operate
If I could operate any type of office environment, I would put an office in the Himalayas and you would walk on dirt paths from your hut to your office suite. Very soothing, and with great hiking and views. If in an urban atmosphere, you would be able to get acupuncture once a week, perhaps a massage, food delivery with many choices, and have many places to take a relaxing walk. Forget about weight rooms. How about a glass dome in a forest that had a fitness room in it with fresh air piped in. Work shouldn’t be a torture. It should be fun and mixed with fun activities in fun settings to keep you charged up to do your miracles! If I didn’t have fun regularly, I don’t think I could perform at the level that I do. I would be too depressed! How you structure your office environment is up to you, but flexibility and thinking out side of the box is key.
Don’t think for a minute that you can be lackidasical about missing deadlines with this flexibility — “au contraire mon frere!” Just because you are having fun and living an integrated life doesn’t mean that you slack off!
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