Laura Stack, MBA, CSP, CPAE, is an award-winning keynote speaker, best-selling author, and noted authority on employee and team productivity. She is the president of The Productivity Pro Inc., a company dedicated to helping leaders increase workplace performance in high-stress environments. Stack has authored seven books, including Doing the Right Things Right: How the Effective Executive Spends Time (January 18, 2016). She is a past president of the National Speakers Association, and in 2015 was inducted into its exclusive Speaker Hall of Fame (with fewer than 175 members worldwide). Stack’s clients include Cisco Systems, Walmart and Bank of America, and she has been featured on the CBS Early Show and CNN, and in The New York Times. To have Laura Stack speak at your next event, call 303-471-7401 or visit www.theproductivitypro.com.
Recently I’ve seen a lot of “RIP Work-Life Balance” claims, arguing that the concept is dying, if not already dead. Some people state outright that you can no longer expect much of a personal life if you ever want to reach the C-suite. Most, however, just claim there’s simply no longer a reasonable difference between work and personal life. Smartphones, Wi-Fi and related technology have made it possible for work to intrude upon your private life anywhere, anytime…so, they say, you may as well give up on the idea of having any sort of work-life balance.
Just because you can be constantly connected doesn’t mean you have to be, or even should be. Over-connection damages your ability to think and focus.
I’ll concede that technology has blurred the line between work and personal life, so that work can intrude on your private time — if you let it. The rest of the argument I can’t concede. To me, it’s all just word games designed to obscure a simple fact: If you don’t give yourself time to recharge, you’ll wreck both your personal and professional life. Work-life balance isn’t dead! People have just started calling it different things. Whether you refer to it as just plain “life” or “life exchange” or any of the other euphemisms so-called experts have invented, you still need a work-life balance that not only allows peak productivity, but fuels it.
After all, what are you working so hard for, if not so you can have a comfortable life outside work?
I make sure I maintain a good work-life balance at all times. I’ve been doing this long enough to know when I’m getting stretched too thin. You probably have, too. But sometimes, we need to brush up on even the most basic of principles…so let’s look at a few reasons why the idea of work-life balance remains valid.
Very few people live their work, and even those who try can’t always do so successfully. While it’s wonderful to do what you love, there has to be more to you than work — not just for health and sanity reasons — but for professional reasons as well. The better-rounded you are and the more energy you have, the easier it’ll be to do a good job. I&FMM
© 2016 Laura Stack