Work-life balance is an interesting topic to me because I don’t have an implicit issue with work. I work hard all the time. I’m literally (not hyperbolic use of the term) busy all the time. I haven’t had television at the house for 7+ years and haven’t missed it. We cancelled it because we just found ourselves too busy doing things to watch it enough to be worth paying for it. No judgement on people that like to decompress while watching television, but when we did the math, we were spending $17/hr for television. At that rate, we were better off just going to the movies or purchasing shows online.
Ok, back to the topic at hand. I was perusing my RSS feeds when I stumbled across a LIfeHacker article on “Why You Should Embrace Work-Life Imbalance.” I thought that was an interesting thought, since many people tell me I work too much. The gist of the article was that people most complain about work-life imbalances when their jobs are unsatisfying. If you have a job that engages you, you don’t mind working and in fact it could make your life better to work more.
I liked where the article was going, but not where it arrived. I agree that we should all seek out work that engages us in a way that makes working a joy, if possible. That doesn’t mean that you should be willing to work all the time. Unless, your goal is to live alone, that’s not a great idea. A work-life imbalance isn’t something that only affects the person working. It also affects their partner, their children/pets and even relationships with friends. If you have people you love and that love you, you need to spend enough time with them or all of your lives will suffer. Of course, that doesn’t mean the magic number of work hours is 40. It could be 50 or 60. It all depends on you and your loved ones.