8 January 2023
"You need a better work life balance"
I just started a new gig!
Yeah, I’m stoked!
The work is a bit repetitive.
The pay is shit.
But the work/life balance is great!
We have this awesome slogan:
Eight hours labour, eight hours recreation, eight hours rest.
The last place I worked at made me work 16 hours and paid even worse.
I just quietly quit on that fam!
And it comes with a great perk, you get to live at the office.
There’s about 2,000 of us.
It’s a bit low key though…
My work colleague, his wife and their 7 children live in the same room as me. And there’s only one crapper for the whole block!
But the beaut is we don’t have to pay for the accommodation (and I got no more FOMO - broooo, I think this whole remote working ting is disconnecting us from our work fam!)
Tomorrow I’m going to drop a review on Glassdoor!
Just an averagely balanced day at New Lanark cotton mill in 1810 (narrated by the voice of our youngers from today).
I mean Robert Owen did have good intentions with his ‘slogan’ - in a time when factory owners forced people to work to breaking point for extra profit.
Kinda the lesser of two evils.
But your work has got to be pretty shit if your company has to force you to stop working at a certain point.
And I think that’s where the problem starts with this week’s aphorism.
If you love your work and you get a sense of purpose from it, why restrict yourself to some dogmatic schedule (he says writing this as the clock hits 20:11)?
Yeah sometimes I do other stuff that’s fun too.
Spend time with my loved ones.
And of course rest is important.
So is eating right and exercising.
But I don’t need anyone reminding me that I work too much (doing what I love)!
OK… I’m going to stop here, as you can tell this aphorism really grinds my gears.
Instead let’s hear it from our contributors this week, have fun and see you later at my reflections below.
What this week's contributors think of this aphorism?
Consultant @ Grey Consulting
"I read somewhere that work-life balance is a term coined by confused people who hate their lives"
Co-founder @ Matter Of Form
"It would be difficult to say that's bad advice - but start by making your work meaningful"
My reflections on "you need a better work life balance"
This morning, I was sitting outside on my porch here in Portugal. The sky was a light blue, filled with long, stringy clouds tinted by the sun in orange and red. The birds were singing. I only heard animals, no humans. There were green plants all around me, and it was just lovely.
I was writing in my journal and suddenly had the urge to just get up and start walking. It was totally unplanned. I didn't know where I would go or how long for.
I thought, 'Just get up and walk.'
But that fucked me up!
'But if I leave now and do this spontaneous walk, what about all the other things I planned to get done today?'
'Will I be behind on them?'
'I can't afford to be behind on them?'
'Is this sudden urge to walk just me walking away from the important things in my life? Am I just running away from the hard stuff?'
On the other hand:
'If I don't just get up and walk off into the world of serendipity, will I miss out on something amazing? Something I can't plan for?'
'Will I get some creative idea that I wouldn't have gotten otherwise?'
'Will I regret it later that I didn't do it and then beat myself up that I wasn't spontaneous yet again? That I'm so regimented and boring?'
The truth is: I didn't go for the walk. Instead, I stayed here and wrote this.
This is a classic problem where the uncertainty of an unplanned situation just messes with your mind. And that's why, in my opinion, it's a waste of time trying to perfectly balance your work and non-work life.
I don't actually understand why we try so hard to fight the imbalance?
It's far more effective to accept that it will never be equally balanced. Instead, acquire the tools that help you deal with uncertainty. Tools that allow you to see the opportunity in those moments, rather than all the restrictions.
In the context of a working environment at an agency:
I think it's the employer's responsibility to create an environment where employees have the time to deal with uncertainties that arise within and outside their work, and to provide them with tools to manage those challenges and find opportunities in those uncertainties.
But it's equally the employee's responsibility to make use of those tools and to find their own solutions, constantly asking themselves, 'What am I going to do about it?' And don't blame everyone else or company processes for their lack of resilience.
Thank you for taking the time today to read our Polynut newsletter. If you have any comments, ideas, or questions, feel free to reach out to me at [email protected]
And a HUGE THANK YOU to our contributors for giving up their time to share their knowledge with us and providing multiple perspectives! 🙏
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While I was busy looking at close ups of ants. I wondered whether animals like flies perceive time in a different way to us.