Sunday, 11 November 2012

Work-Life Balance is Bullshit

I agree with Alain.

The concept of work-life balance is a false dichotomy.

First, it presumes that work is in opposition to life.  It is assumes that the problem is binary - it's not.  The fact is that work is a fundamental part of life; who we are and what we do both define us, sometimes with good and bad results.  Work-life balance is not a state.  It is a fluid goal and while the pursuit of it is great, it doesn't really exist. Strive to add other parts to your life to "balance" the work part but don't kill yourself when you don't get this ephemeral balance. I worry that people berate themselves for never having balance, which is another kind of stress, guilt, equally bad as high work stress. so my view: pursue it, but don't fixate on the state.

Second, long hours are not necessarily a problem.  Some people get enjoyment working long hours: "work is more fun, than fun", said Noel Coward. It all depends on the person's frame of reference too. do you have kids? 50+ hours is likely dumb. but I for one (with no kids - yet) love working long hours in my current job. it is where I get most of my "Flow" (Csikszentmihalyi). and this makes sense, because achievement is high on the list of what makes most people happy. I find mine in the job that I do. so we need to be careful: long hours are not *necessarily* bad.

And Orson sums it up beautifully here: 
"The two things arent separated in my mind...  Work is an expression of life"

"The heights by great men reached and kept
Were not attained by sudden flight,
But they, while their companions slept,
Were toiling upward in the night."

- Longfellow

“If you find a job you really love, you’ll never work again"

"It's about work- life harmony"
- Bezos

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