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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

There is no scale

We draw distinctions between the quality of time we spend at work versus away from work. We sometimes refer to the latter as "free" time which raises interesting questions about how we might regard the former.
Blog13 NoScale f2
Regardless, the difference in perceived quality between time spent in and away from work is significant enough to give rise to a need for balance. This is commonly referred to as the "work / life balance". But can you successfully balance the two? I mean, on one side of the scales you have everything (aka Life) and on the other side you have ... work? This odd pairing gives rise to some interesting questions:
  1. Is it really life and work on the scales?
  2. What forces are at play in the lives of those who seem to have this balance?
  3. What's the payoff?
The way I see it, people who achieve this balance love every aspect of their life, including the significant portion the rest of us call "work". How they develop this perspective is a separate question, it's something I'm trying to work towards. So far, I don't think it necessarily involves changing job, I sense it has more to do with adopting a different outlook (more on this in future posts ;-). The payoff is that for these people there is no scale.

2 comments:

Arseny said...

Like you said, it's not strictly black & white like in the old days.
Furthermore, somewhat occupation related. But I guess the key is to be sure about your choice of work - that alone greatly reduces any possible negative consequences.
p.s. glad to see your blog becoming "alive" :-)

Raj said...

Hey Arseny,

Thanks a lot for your comment. I'm really enjoying working on the blog. Requires time but definitely worth it.

Re Occupation Related: I think this is true, in so far as we have a say in how we occupy ourselves. I'm trying out a little experiment where I ask myself what kind of contribution I'm making (at "work" or in my "free time") and whether there might be a way I can contribute more/differently, esp. in a way that aligns with my core values. I'm finding this changes my outlook on some things and starts to blur the traditional distinction between free time and time spent at work.