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The Folly of the Life Balance Concept

Last week we asked:


1. Do you think you practice the Life Balance Concept?

07.7% Large extent

23.1% Moderate extent

30.8% Slight extent

38.5% Not at all

2.  How important is time off from work for you?

07.7% Extremely important

23.1% Important

07.7% Somewhat important

61.5% Slightly important

3. Have you had coworkers throw an excuse related to "life balance" if you question their untimely vacations?

46.2% Yes

53.8% No

Comments

>When I lost my first daughter just before her third birthday and then had still-born twin daughters a year later, I decided that I was not going to put my family second to work since I clearly had a limited time with these precious human beings. You only get one real chance to experience and influence their lives.

>No - I'm too busy at my job!

>The mill provides the paycheck that allows me to live the lifestyle I have. Without my dedication in return, why wouldn't they look for a "full time" employee.

>As you say, if one wants to be in the top 2-3% of the folks in his field, unless he has an extraordinary mental and physical capability will find it necessary to work more than 40hrs/week and to be available when needed. He will find, even when he becomes 'top dog' that others will not always conform to his/her schedule. When conflicts occur, compromises will be made; someone will not be satisfied. The combination of a series of these choices defines the side of the teter-toter that carries the most weight. No doubt, others have done a far better job than I but all of us have to make trade-offs. How does one tell where his/her priorities lie? Keep close records of where he/her spends their money and their time. After a month or so of this, one's actual priorities become evident. If these priority data don't align with one's stated goals and objectives, then he/she should understand why progress against G&O's has been less than hoped and why life simply isn't very satisfying. In the long haul, as G&O's and true priorities diverge, he/she can expect to join the Zoloft/Cymbalta set.

>Right on!

>The danger has always been that the culture of sites is attendance rather than effectiveness and personal intervention rather than delegation. I have seen a good number of very effective managers with a good "Life Balance" and well run organisations without the culture of working all hours. Balanced prioritisation and flexibility are the keys.

>I agree with your comments completely. Working in Pulp and Paper is a lifestyle choice. I can't think of anyone moving up the ranks (of salaried jobs, at least) who consistently try to "balance" their job with outside activities. One motivator for moving from a mill job to my current job - 50% travel and many 12-hour days - to INCREASE the time I had with my family. However, the folks who "grow old" in the industry seem to always have some kind of outside activity that they have a passion for - these outside activites provide some balance, and sanity, in our lives.

>Interviewing professionals now is always about life balance - are we a company that "values" employees by giving them time off? Our union work force now uses seniority to avoid OT, not claim it. We have had technicians turn down a job because it takes a year plus to get any vacation. How do we combat this trend?

This week's quiz is here.

Want to get a jump on the surveys? Follow me on twitter, where they are posted early. You can do this here. (note: all respondents are confidential; the software is programmed in such a way that neither we nor anyone else can determine who responded)

 

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Want to be heard on other subjects? Be sure to watch for "Paperitalo Second Tuesday Surveys."

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