The Impossible Dream – Work/Life Balance


I’ve been busy lately, really busy. Stupid busy.

Which is why I’m writing this at 8:45 on a Saturday morning.

It’s difficult to complain about it though, not because I like sitting in my office on a Saturday morning but because as a salesperson it means that I’m selling. Given “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” (Hamlet by Billy Shakespeare) or more accurately “the ebb and flow of the salesperson’s life” (LinkedIn by Gareth Callaway) I know that it will go quiet for a little while in a few weeks before getting busy again.

During the ebb I may not be quite as diligent in my attendance as now for example. Massive understatement.

For many though, ie those with a better grip of their calendars and work habits than me, they have introduced and formalized a series of habits and routines that give them that balance. For example, Catherine McKenna, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change made the paper last Fall when she told her staff that she would quit work at 5:30 to spend time with her family before going back to work at 8pm. It’s funny how spending time with your family makes the papers.

Of course, in order to do this sacrifices in the office often have to be made like avoiding those water cooler conversations, avoiding a lot of socializing sometimes and that can often be detrimental to office relationships.

It can also mean outsourcing some work. This happens to be my great attribute/failing. I create time by outsourcing as much as possible off my desk. Unfortunately, other people in the office end up being overloaded due to this great strength of mine in time management and striving for that work/life balance. One of my kids is currently eating my breakfast for me.

Another acquired skill when I get busy is that the filter for what needs to be done changes. In essence, I will just unilaterally decide that it’s just not important enough to do. Ever. Obviously, core business tasks shouldn’t be avoided, like, for me, selling. But I met with my accountant earlier this week only 9 months late. I just don’t see that as a core part of my business I guess!

Ultimately it often comes down to time management and the reality is that despite the hundreds of articles that you will see on LinkedIn on this topic, our time is managed for us by somebody else.

When I’m busy in work, I’m here in the office on a Saturday morning because my clients have essentially told me to be here. For many, it’s their manager who keeps pushing work down. Same concept.

On the flipside, I’m reminded of a day a while ago when I met a friend for a coffee mid-morning. We sat there chatting for quite a while and then I said to him that it was time for lunch. He thought I was leaving but instead the two of us got up and walked across the road to the restaurant.

Not today though. Soon…………….