How much effort do you put into your work verses your breathing?  What about work versus your eating?  Sleeping?

The question above doesn’t make much sense so why are people so interested in a work life balance?  As Seth Godin pointed out in his post Time Doesn’t Scale, the work life balance is a relatively new one.  Our parents and grandparents never had to worry about fitting their life into their work or their work into their life.  It is only our generation that is worrying about this somewhat pointless phenomenon because we are trying to correct a path that many of us are taking down the wrong road.

Seth points out that people have realized that working longer hours can produce better results so people started working more hours.  That is until they hit a wall.  Not only are there only 24 hours in a day, but we need to physically recharge our bodies and minds each day to stay productive.  Nobody can be as productive with no sleep or little sleep as they can with a full night’s sleep on a regular basis.  Think about your smart phone. (you have a smart phone, right?)  It works great until the battery gets really low and then it shuts off.  You can plug it in for a few minutes to try and get some more juice but if you want it to work properly again, you need to give it a good charge.  When the battery hits 20% left, the smart thing to do is to close any programs that you are not using and only use your phone when you absolutely need it so you don’t end up without a phone.

We need to close down some of our programs as well when our batteries are running low and we definitely need a good charge when the battery dies.  We can recharge our batteries by resting, relaxing, having some fun, spending time with friends and family and believe it or not, shutting off our smart phones for a little while.

We have been going down the wrong path and thinking that working more will bring better results.  What we should be doing is thinking about the next step.  If there is no way to work more than 24 hours per day, how can we be more productive?  

I’ve got some ideas but I’d like to hear some of your comments in the comment section below. 

As a little bonus, if you like Don McLean’s American Pie, here’s a parody about work today.

Image: renjith krishnan /

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