Handy Approach to Balancing Your Work and Life

At LinkedIn, someone asked: "I'm a very driven person. The downside to that is that I have a bad habit of letting work and thoughts of work take over my private life. Does anyone have any tips for balancing work and life?"

I'll share something I learned quite recently, that has changed how I look at this issue.

The Irish social philosopher Charles Handy says that "work life balance" is a false dichotomy, and because it is nonsense, it is the source of much of our trouble.

The better outlook, Handy says, is to see our life as one portfolio with several compartments, for example Work, Family, Vacation, Hobbies, Volunteerism, Church, etc. Though we spend our time on different things in the course of a year, it's all One Life. Your Life.

And you choose how you allocate your time and energy.

There's no reason, Handy says, to berate yourself. Anyone who is highly engaged ("driven") with their work, is going to put a lot of thought and energy into it, even on "off hours."

The Handy Approach: Make choices and live with them.

Very freeing philosophy, I think.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, Dec 17, 2007

Comments

Lubna said…
Hi
Handy is right, but making the choice is difficult.
Terrence Seamon said…
Hi Lubna,
Welcome to my blog!

You're right that the choices are hard, especially if the options are all attractive. So that's where we need some criteria to sort the options by.

Please stop by again.
Best wishes!
Terry

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