Ironically I've been struggling to write this work-life-balance blog all week, as I have been too busy.
This week work has taken me away from my wife, the kids, my home, my games, flash-forward, and blogging. I'm sure there is more it's just my mind is so overloaded I cannot remember.
When did we stop being a profession and start having a profession? Where our life was in balance, as we were what we did - that is you were a farmer, doctor, soldier. You didn't leave your life and go and do these things, then when finished return to your life. This was probably the time we started actually having leisure time - so I shouldn't complain, the fact that I had leisure time to loose is a bonus. Somehow this doesn't quite feel right, perhaps we need a three-day weekend!
I once went to a meeting in London where, Sahar Hashemi, the founder of Coffee Republic was a guest speaker. Her talk (and the book that she was selling in the lobby afterwards) were discussing the nature of entrepreneurs. One comment that registered strongly with my perspective at that time was that entrepreneurs didn't "clock-off" at 5:30. If an idea came to you at 6am on Sunday, you worked on it. Your passion for what you did meant that it pervaded your entire existence there was no boundary. But don't we need a boundary? The photo in this blog is me in 2003 on holiday in Ireland, the document in my hand I believe was the monthly management accounts and I was on the phone to Linda in accounts. I was stood on the fence (not metaphorically this time) as the cottage was in a hollow with no phone reception. Eventually I had to give up and have 2 weeks off. It was great and I felt refreshed when I returned. Lesson learned I think.
Recently with my foray into the virtual, social and professional networking arena with facebook/twitter/LinkedIn I am having the same issue of work/life balance. Should I have a Chinese Wall between them, should I allow work to drift in to personal? Should I leverage my contacts? or should I remain in this schizophrenic state of having two separate personalities? Clearly, I haven't decided yet. I think I'll just see what unfolds.
Also, I don't think it is wise to "collect" friends and contacts like some sort of trophy. There seems to be a practice of adding everybody you've ever met, or in some cases just worked at the same place, to your collection of links/friends/followers. I'm sure this practice will be self defeating as it undermines the strength of your relationship with your real links/friends/followers. I don't advocate a set of selection criteria for adding to your list, just use common sense - ask yourself, do I know this person?
Oh no, I've run out of time, must get back to work........