There are a plethora of blogs, podcasts and books in the world today expounding the value of obtaining a work/life balance. Often these imply that work is bad or in someway inferior to life and therefore we need to strike a balance.
This kind of thinking increases the already widening gap between our two selves: our work self and our personal self. It is no wonder so many people dread Monday mornings when they have to leave the best of who they are at home.
What if we approached our work and life with a clear understanding of our priorities? In order to bring our whole person to work with us each day, we need to see work as part of our life - not separate from it. This doesn’t mean being available 24/7 to answer emails and calls - far from it. This means we can decide what is most important right now. Living our lives with this kind of intention allows us to prioritize and be in the moment no matter the occasion. Thursday night you're excited to attend your kid’s recital (put your phone away) and Friday morning you’re excited to fine tune that big proposal due next week.
Sometimes we find ourselves trying to determine which priorities get our attention. A common practice of many great leaders (Warren Buffett and Steven Covey among them) is the 10-10-10 rule. Before deciding, ask yourself these three questions:
- How will I feel about this decision in 10 minutes?
- How will I feel about this decision in 10 months?
- How will I feel about this decision in 10 years?
It should come as no surprise that we strongly favor number 3. Work and life should not be enemies where one is always looking to best the other. If we view our work as part of who we are and bring our humanity to the table each and every moment we will feel more fulfilled and more whole.
Find passion in the little things you do at work, with your family, with your friends. Be intentional about bringing the best of yourself to all parts of your life. When you need to recharge, truly disconnect and spend time with your own thoughts. Find your work/life flow. Monday is just another day and has as much opportunity as any other day of the week-it’s all perspective. Life doesn’t have to end for work to begin.