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Having a Personal Life


We all know that we we’re supposed to balance work and home life. We need to spend some time at the office, but we should spend time with our families as well. The problem for most of us, however, is that the lines between work and non-work are starting to blur. How do you keep your home life and your office life separate?  Or is that even something that we should do?

What makes this question particularly challenging is that so many gurus are advocating strategies that sound pretty unhealthy. Startup expert Jason Cohen writes very simply, “Maximizing your chance for success means sacrificing health and family.” Hard-working rock star Warren Zevon summarized his philosophy on long hours as “I’ll sleep when I am dead.” In an article for CEO magazine, Keith Ferrazi explains that “Balance is BS” (PDF). Should we have a personal life, or is that a thing of the past?

I’m of the opinion that what makes us crazy is not being able to have the appropriate thoughts at the appropriate times. If you’re trying to fall asleep, watch a movie, or on a date with your spouse, you shouldn’t be thinking about problems at work. That’s what it means to be unbalanced. Having a personal life is not a measure of how many hours you spend not working, but rather how easily you can shut off work.

That’s what I believe.

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About the Blogger: Robby Slaughter is a productivity speaker and expert. He is a principal with a AccelaWork, an Indianapolis consulting firm.


Wed, April 27 2011 » Self Development, Stress and Mindfullness, Success Consciousness, Work/Life Balance

6 Responses

  1. Brooke Randolph, LMH April 27 2011 @ 7:57 pm

    You're definitely on the right track, Robby. I don't think it is about a particular schedule or ratio of hours for any particular facet of life, more of a balance of priorities. It is about staying healthy – physically, mentally, and emotionally – so that we are able to continue doing all that is important to us. Balance is a buzz word, but it is important to recognize when we are "unbalanced" so that we can manage our stressors and get ourselves back on track. If you feel drained from working all the time, you will not be doing your best work. If you focus only on your to do list and the bing of an email notifier, you will miss out on important opportunities to enrich your relationships and enjoy your life beyond simply what you 'do'.

  2. rslaughter April 27 2011 @ 8:17 pm

    Thanks Brooke! You are absolutely right. Feel free to come back and comment on any of our posts.

  3. Jessica Journey April 27 2011 @ 9:45 pm

    I appreciate your perspective, Robby. Yes, for me, being balanced is about focusing on what I want to focus on when I want to focus on it.

    So, if I've decided it's time to hang out with my husband, then I don't want to be worrying about my board committee responsibilities!

    Or, if it's time to focus on work tasks, I don't want to be distracted by my desire to go shopping!

    If I am balanced, I can focus on whatever is presently happening – not on all of the other options that life presents to me.

  4. Brooke Randolph, LMH April 28 2011 @ 4:57 pm

    well explained, Jessica

  5. Jenn Lisak April 28 2011 @ 6:13 pm


    I believe you are right on track as well. That is why I am excited to be part of a ROWE – Results Oriented Work Environment. The idea is that you are paid for your work, not for your time. So if I wanted to go watch a movie with my friend on Thursday afternoon, I could, as long as I have done my work for that day.

    I don't think we are as effective if we don't have a work-life balance. Think about it: If work is my life, then I'm not really living life and I will begin to resent my work. We should all have personal boundaries for ourselves and our work life that are realistic. Furthermore, if work is really "work" to you, then that's probably something that isn't enhancing your life, besides the financial aspect anyway. Sit down, think about what you want, and make it happen.

  6. Chuck Gose May 16 2011 @ 8:31 pm

    Work-life balance is a myth. It makes people believe that career and personal life will find a balancing point and forever be in harmony. The fact is that you will always have to pull from one to provide for the other.

    Check out this post from Mitch Joel. The 3-legged stool is a perfect analogy.

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