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  • The Technology Guy 07:23 on February 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: balance, ,   

    Work life balance 

    Interested in some new research? read on….

    My life has changed somewhat over the last year. The process of divorce, moving home and having a father who has dimentia has taken it’s toll on the stress levels.

    It is very easy to bury yourself into your work, bury your head and hope it all goes away. To be honest it doesn’t.

    However, I always said it would be good to get a work life balance. Like many however I never really understood what this meant or how to achieve it. Read the book, seen the video etc etc.

    When you do finally find how, it is a revelation. So let me share some thought.

    There comes a moment when you live on your own after having had a partner and kids in your house for 26 years, when you close the front door on returning home and realise you are alone, this is it.

    I thought this would be a lonley place, turn on the laptop, work. However I set a rule when I moved in that work at home was only allowed during work hours. Force yourself to read books, listen to music, learn to cook better, blog loads of thoughts and Tweet, anything other than work.

    Some time ago I met a person who has changed the way I think. They have made me consider what I have and what is missing. The time spent in the presence of this person is very challenging and has made me think inwardly. The challenges posed were not easy in the begining, I was pretty closed to new ideas or change. Over time I have seen the light. Seeing this person has become really fun.

    Now this relationship has taken a very long time to flourish. I have always been a positive person viewing everything as a challenge in my work environment and with my clients. It is what my reputation is based on, however, how is this affected by what happens at home? Before the rumour machine gets going, this person is a theraputic professional.

    At this time I am having a really good time at home, my social life is the best it has been for years, what I do outside of work is fulfilling and has become great fun. I do not have time to blog and Tweet as much as I would like. I do not have enough time to read all I want and the Sky box is filling quicker than I have time to watch it.

    Sounds great no?

    What I have realised is that this great time out of work has had a serious affect on how efficient and effective I am in the office. The better it gets at home, the more efficient I get at work.

    So here is my challenge. I do not know yet how to research this so input from all is required.

    My first thought is that we are training the wrong subjects in the workplace. Training people to be more effective in their work could be achieved better by training them how to have a good time out of work. Time management training could include how to stop at the end of the day.

    The crazy first thoughts are that if we help our staff learn how to have a good time out of work, they will have a good time whilst at work and be more productive.

    New course titles could include:

    Cook your partner a great meal.
    Understanding the difference between Merlot and Shiraz.
    Making cleaning your house a fun experience.
    Bringing your true self to work!

    Do you carry a breifcase home every day? I do! Now I force myself not to open it at home out of work hours. But when I open it in the office, I get twice as much done.

    What research is required here? Where do I begin? Interested in taking part?

    • Barry Sampson 08:59 on February 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Hey Neil, glad to hear everything is coming together.

      Funnily enough, about 10 years ago when I was a trainer in a corporate L&D department, I regularly ran a course on bringing your personality to work. I must tell you about it some time.

    • Sue Cohen 10:08 on February 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Neil
      Sounds great. I’m not sure how the research would work but I can certainly agree with what you’ve said. I have done some work with people about managing their work better in order to get their work/life balance in order, but taking it the other way round is intriguing and really powerful.

      Great message – look forward to seeing more.

    • Nick Shackleton-Jones 11:49 on February 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Neil –

      I admire your candor. For my part, I don’t believe in a work/life balance: it implies that your life isn’t part of your work or your work not a part of your life – that would be a terrible thing. Things like ‘facebook’ and ‘twitter’ – and technology generally – mean you can do work-like stuff or life-like stuff anytime.

      But I agree you have a point – I think it’s a point about the work/play balance. For some people work is all play (did you cathc Ben & Jerry on the BBC this morning?) – and sometimes it’s like that for me. But in all honesty some of what I do at work is a chore and some of what I do at home is a chore, and it’s play that enables me to focus and get through; that’s how I interpreted your post, anyway.

      I love the idea of a course about how to play well…


    • Sarah 14:53 on February 19, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I have been telling you this FOREVERRR
      Like, actually.
      Love you x

    • Cammy Bean 15:03 on February 24, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I used to work for a company called Work/Family Directions — all about the balance. At the time, I didn’t have kids or a spouse. Feel like I could use some of that now! I think it gets even more challenging for those of us who work from home. My office is in a detached shed, but I bring my laptop in every night just the same. There are wonderful tradeoffs in my day — I walk my kids to the bus and pick them up at school. And I work at night after they’re asleep to stay on top of everything. I agree with you about being more efficient — I always do better work when I’m busy and have tight deadlines.

    • Kevin 17:51 on February 24, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      “Making cleaning your house a fun experience.” Now you figure out how to train that you’ll have a gold mine on your shelf! Confession: I like cleaning mine and when I break out the Dyson, its “search and destroy” mission looking for dust bunnies!

      I can relate to some of your story. I’m retired Army and my first career was Army, Country, Career, and if the Army wanted me to have a family and life they would have issued me one. Seriously, that’s how I thought and maybe my success in that career was I put work before life.

      I brought that work ethic to civilian life and put 60+ hours a week into my work. Is the effect of that cause due to where I am now professionally? Perhaps. The added effect may also be the result of my first marriage failing.

      I, too went through a period of defining the value of balancing work and life. Once I figured it out, I am less stressed, more productive, and have a loving and supporting family.

      Fundamentally, it’s learning how/when to take one hat off and putting the other one on!

      • Neil 18:41 on February 24, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        To be honest I had not really considered any enlisted people in my thoughts. It has given me another dimension to add to the mix, so thank you for your input.

        I actually do like cleaning my house, I suppose I have become ‘house proud’ and enjoy making it look how I want.

        I too spent far too many hours working, actually filled every moment with it. But have found there is so much more. My new rule of not opening briefcase out of work hours is not set in stone, but so far has proved a great starting place.

        I loved Nick’s comments about work/play, because good life outside work is most definitely fun. And I also like Barry’s take on brining your personality to work, just have to make the personality a great one…

        My thoughts continue on this.. First course on fun cleaning? Not sure, it may be the difference between Merlot and Shiraz as I am having much fun finding out!


    • Janet Clarey 19:50 on February 24, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      You write with such honesty Neil.

      I don’t know about this…to many people, a course is just the “Read the book, seen the video etc etc.” you write of. What happened to you was triggered by your reaction to outside events. It’s incredibly complex.

    • Araceli25SNIDER 10:36 on September 21, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      If you’re in a not good position and have got no cash to get out from that, you will need to take the mortgage loans. Because that will aid you for sure. I take term loan every single year and feel myself fine because of this.

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  • The Technology Guy 15:16 on February 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , ,   

    Finally fixed my blog… 

    Oh boy, got hacked, lost a couple of posts and then everything redirected to a chinese website.

    I am honoured that they thought my lille ol blog was worth hacking.

    Back to blogging tomorrow….

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