I’ve been thinking lately about how work is not a contained part of our lives–and how that can adversely affect our happiness and family time.
I’ve talked before about my lunch hour being eradicated by meetings. In her Life’s Work column today, New York Times reporter Lisa Belkin discusses the problem of “meetings with food” as “yet another symptom of an overstuffed day.”
There’s also checking (and responding to) work email early in the morning, late at night, on weekends, and even on vacation. People with crackberries have even more issues with this.
Perhaps worst of all is thinking about work outside of work. If you can’t leave your job when you leave the office–if it follows you around as you go about the rest of your life, even in your dreams!–then you feel like you’re working all the time. And that’s not good for anyone.
I liked this quote from Belkin’s column about taking responsibility for drawing the line:
The important point, said Patrick Gray, the president of the Prevoyance Group, an I.T. consulting firm in Charlotte, N.C., is that you can’t wait for someone to step in and simplify your schedule for you.
“The biggest mistake people make when managing ‘work-life balance’ is assuming someone else will do it for us,” he said. “We as individuals are the only ones that control how our day is spent, and need to ration our time as jealously as we guard our pocketbooks. If you gave 100 people unrestrained access to your bank account, would you be surprised when they made thoughtless withdrawals?”
I’m curious, WMAGs, what your experiences have been with this work-life hemorrhaging business. What do you do (if anything) to set your limits?