by Jim Bruce
This week’s Tuesday Reading “Taking Control of Your Work Life Balance and Gaining Personal Fulfillment” takes a hard look at work life balance. In her review of clinical psychologist Henry Cloud’s new book “The One Life Solution,” Meridith Levinson, a CIO staff writer, wrote:
” Work will consume as much time as we allow it. It will take over our whole lives if we let it.“
As I read this, the key words I saw were “if we let it.” Years ago work was a place and when you were not at your workplace, you didn’t do much work and had time and space for a personal life. Cloud notes that work life balance was not really a problem in the past as the personal and the professional spheres of our life were separate. Today the anyplace, anytime ubiquity of communications via Blackberry, iPhone, Treo, cellphone, and laptop, along with our complicity, has changed all that.
Henry Cloud, like most everyone reading this note, has a Blackberry/iPhone/… and would not be able to do work without it. However, as he notes the question is, “Is your Blackberry a tool you are using to serve the things that are important to you, or does it have control over you, where the things that are really important to you never happen?”
The solution will be found, according to Cloud, in learning to set priorities — across all phases of our life; pruning — deciding where you will focus your resources and “pruning” off the rest; and in setting boundaries. Notes Cloud, “If people don’t have personal boundaries inside them at their core, they’re going to feel fragmented and crazy and lost.”
In the piece you’ll find some good advice and examples and a wise closing thought: “The people who are the most fruitful in their marriages, relationships, and in their careers get there because they’ve structured their lives such that those things will be immovable, will get the best and first of their attention.”
Good food for thought. . . . . jim