Nice TED talk on work life balance, courtesy of Nigel Marsh, for a Friday afternoon. In summary:
1. Gimmicks like dress down Friday don’t work. We are working long and hard hours in jobs we hate, buying things we don’t need to impress people we don’t like. That is the hub of the issue.
2. Governments and corporations won’t solve the issue for us – take control for the type of life we want to lead. If we don’t design our lives, someone will design it forward. Never put the quality of your life in the hands of ANY corporation.
3. Plan your day — be realistic, you can’t do it all, elongate the timeframe in which we judge the balance. A day is too short, after we retire is too long.
4. Approach balance in a balanced way. Being a fit 10 hour a day office rat isn’t balanced, it’s just more fit. Attend to all areas….the small things matter. It doesn’t have to be a huge upheaval – with the smallest investment in the right places, big changes can happen. If enough people do it, we can change society’s definition of success from who dies with the most money wins to the measure of success being a life well lived.
I would add, make time for each area of your life without interruption. When you’re home with the kids, turn off the blackberry/computer. When you’re at work, make sure you can focus properly on the job in hand without distractions. And the single most important thing about good work life balance in my opinion is find a job you love and it will feel a lot less like work which can only be a positive thing.