Finding work life balance: How I worked nearly 60 hours this week and still spent quality time with family and friends.
Work-life balance, that’s the catchphrase these days, right? I’m sure you’ve heard phrases like “Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.” Jack Welch, the former CEO of GE, said “There is no such thing as work-life balance. There are work-life choices, and you make them, and they have consequences.“
“There is no such thing as work-life balance. There are work-life choices, and you make them, and they have consequences.” – Jack Welch
Sounds a little harsh at first, but frankly I couldn’t agree more with Jack! You are choosing what to prioritize every day, and good or bad, those choices have consequences.
I’ve worked 80 hours in a 4-day stretch before, pausing only to catch a few hours of sleep in a hotel room, and 36 hours straight only pausing long enough to go to the bathroom. Choosing to give it my all was incredible for my career. In fact, my dedication to my career allowed me to advance to the point that I am now the general manager of my company.
My ex-wife might tell you those choices were not such a good decision for my family though. In the past when I pulled long hours, I did it because I wanted to provide for my family and took pride in a job well done. I didn’t often think about anything else though, after all, I was providing for my family! I often still pull long hours at times for the same reasons. These days, I have learned how to balance things a little better. I worked somewhere around 60 hours this week, nearly half of which was on Monday and Tuesday, pulling 13+ hour days. While a bit exhausted from the long week, I actually really enjoyed it. This week was a little different than past ones. I’ve learned to integrate work with friendships, relaxation, and family. I even got a chance to catch up with a dear old friend, a lady that practically raised me, a lady I call mama.
|Don & Mama|
Make a Choice to Find Work-Life Balance
The biggest thing you must do in order to find that elusive work-life balance is to identify your priorities. Remember that this is really not about work-life balance, it is about work-life choices. Let me tell you a little about my week so you can see what that looks like.
Monday afternoon I had to travel across the state to be ready to go Tuesday morning. We had five sites to survey in five different counties followed by a long drive back home the next day, so I knew it would be some long days. I spent the morning and early afternoon Monday taking care of random things at work so that I could be gone for a couple of days, then headed out. I wouldn’t be arriving at the hotel until around 8 that night if I drove straight there. Thinking back to my priorities, I realized that I would be passing close to an old friend, my mama. This lady had babysat me for many years and was like a second mom to me, and I hadn’t seen her in years.
With the death of a good friend who I wrote about last week in my article 3 Life Lessons I Learned from Leighton still fresh on my mind, I made a choice to stop and visit. I stopped and visited with mama for a few hours. Did that hurt my job at all? Absolutely not! Remember I wouldn’t have been getting into the hotel room until after 8PM anyway. The visit renewed our friendship, and I walked away re-energized.
The sun was starting to set by now, and I remembered another priority that I had set which I mentioned in my article Enjoy the Detours in Life. I’ve made the choice to take the time to enjoy the most beautiful scenes in nature whenever possible. I saw a sign for a lake, and made a choice to pull off the road to enjoy the sunset, this time a very intentional detour.
|Sunset on an intentional detour|
Make a Choice For Quality Time With Your Family
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Have a wonderful week!