Nancy Hardaway photo
With summer officially outside my door, this issue encourages you to focus on work life balance.  You'll find new ways to think about balance, a quiz, and useful tips
Arianna Huffington: How to succeed? Get more sleep
Arianna Huffington: How to succeed? Get more sleep
Time isn't a stretchable commodity.  Trying to "do it all" may leave you sleep deprived, to everyone's disadvantage.  Here's Arianna Huffington offering you ideas on the benefit of "sleeping your way to the top."  Literally.
IS WORK LIFE BALANCE A MYTH, A RELIC OF THE PAST, OR A STATE TO STRIVE FOR?

What sense does work life balance make, when work is such a big part of my life.  How can I balance a part with the whole?  My life includes work AND my family, friends, physical health, spirituality, entertainment and play.

 

In agricultural times, there was no life without work.  Then there came this physical and temporal separation.  I go to someplace to work.  Then I come home. Now with technology, work isn't a separate place anymore, and it often isn't a separate time - it's 24/7 availability.

 

For me it isn't about how I allocate chunks of my time - work and everything else. It's whether I feel satisfied, whether I am filling my hours with meaningful stuff.  It's whether I'm present with whatever I'm doing.  I don't want to be half attending to a conversation with my husband or child and half attending to a text interchange with a client.  I don't want to feel guilty when I'm in one place that I'm not in the other.  That requires being able to turn off from time to time, both mentally and actually.  

 

Work life balance isn't a trade-off, it's about making intentional choices.  Not always finding myself "too busy" for whatever I want to fit into my days, weeks, or years.  It's about passing time, not just clock time.  It's about attending to both accomplishments and fulfillment.

 

That old death-bed wish is a potent reminder.  What will I say when my time is up.  Will I say "I wish I had spent more time working?"

GOOD QUESTIONS TO EXPLORE:

Seeking perfect balance between your personal and professional lives may be an exercise in futility. Instead, consider these questions to test your fulfillment:

 

 1. Do I have energy for things that are important to me?

 

2. What gives me energy and engages me? How often am I doing those things?

 

3. If I could have two extra hours in a day, what would I spend them on?

 

4.  If I could craft a perfect day, what would those 24 hours look like?

 

5. Do I have mental space to think? How able am I to take a step back periodically and assess what's working and what's not?

 

6.  What are the 3-5 things I need in my life to be happy and healthy? (i.e. have dinner with my kids most nights, exercise, sleep 8 hours, etc.) What can I do to ensure these?


RESEARCH AT GOOGLE: 
In This Issue
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QUIZ:
Work Life Balance
Download the quiz below, designed by the Canadian Mental Health Association.  

If you find it difficult to balance the different roles in your life, you're not alone - 58% of Canadians report "overload" as a result of the pressures associated with work, home and family, friends, physical health, volunteer and community service.

 

Are You in Balance Quiz
Advice for Balance

 

Disappoint people

 

Let go of perfection

 

Keep emails and meetings short

 

Edit your to-do list

 

Hit delete

 

Let them judge

 

Learn to say no

 

Teach and trust others

 

You can't give it all

 

You can't have it all

 

You are worthy just sitting still

 
Upcoming Presentations 
Awareness as a Meta-Skill of Leadership

AAGT Biennial International Conference

Monterey, California
Friday, Sept. 5, 2014

SEGMENTORS AND 
INTEGRATORS
 
Researchers at Google have embarked on a longitudinal study of 4000 employees, surveying them twice a year on a multitude of topics.  They recently published some interesting results (gDNA I guess means Google DNA???) on employee thinking about work life balance.  

"Our first rounds of gDNA have revealed that only 31% of people are able to break free of this burden of blurring. We call them "Segmentors." They draw a psychological line between work stress and the rest of their lives, and without a care for looming deadlines and floods of emails can fall gently asleep each night. Segmentors reported preferences like "I don't like to have to think about work while I am at home."

 

For "Integrators", by contrast, work looms constantly in the background.  They not only find themselves checking email all evening, but pressing refresh on gmail again and again to see if new work has come in. (To be precise, people fall on a continuum across these dimensions, so I'm simplifying a bit.)

 

Of these Integrators (69% of people), more than half want to get better at segmenting. This group expressed preferences like "It is often difficult to tell where my work life ends and my non-work life begins."

 

The existence of this group suggests that it is not enough to wish yourself into being a Segmentor. But by identifying where employees fall on this spectrum, we hope that Google can design environments that make it easier for employees to disconnect. Our Dublin office, for example, ran a program called "Dublin Goes Dark" which asked people to drop off their devices at the front desk before going home for the night. Googlers reported blissful, stressless evenings. Similarly, nudging Segmentors to ignore off-hour emails and use all their vacation days might improve well-being over time. "

What can your company do to help balance?

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