Prison bars by Flatflux

Photo on Flickr by Flatflux

Last week we talked about the whole dilemma with boring, maybe meaningless, meetings. This week, I want to tell less and listen more. The topic is the real and perceived pressure to do more-and-more with less-and-less, eroding our sense of power over our lives.

Sounds heavy, right? Well, I worry about the reality in which many of you live.

A New Meaning to Work-Life Balance

With nearly every client or colleague of mine, a presenting complaint is a lack of “work-life balance.” Ten years ago, I think that phrase meant something much different than today. To me, it meant the need to find the “right” balance for yourself. Some people have children, some don’t. Some people are ambitious, some aren’t. Some people have many interests and hobbies, and others don’t. When clients talked about balance with me, I tended to work through their interests and help them figure out how to manage their time against demands. I encouraged them to make the time for their personal life.

Now, I often find myself at a loss. Because the reality of business demands are so extreme and the “company” makes no apologies for the time requirement. “We are accountable for the results. We need to do whatever it takes.” Time for life outside work comes last.

High-Performers Are Wired to Respond

I work very hard, and I work seven days some weeks. But, I’m fortunate to be able to create a patchwork of hours around the rest of my life. I love my work; the work is hard; and, I have a lot of control over my commitments.

You may not be so fortunate, being more on call to the next urgent request or crisis–on top of your busy workload. When I push you for some possible resolution, you might tell me “I have to deliver. That’s who I am.” In fact, it’s you high-performers who are most plagued by the demands, yet feel imprisoned through your commitment to your work.

Three questions for the week:

  1. How are you “wired” to respond to the challenge, even when the cost  is critical personal sacrifices?
  2. What are you strategies or ways of thinking and dealing with the demands?
  3. What are the implications for continuous deliver against the imbalanced time-life?

I am sincerely interested in your thoughts. Call me or send me an email or leave a comment below.