Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Work-Life Balance (and my bedside table)

Work-life balance. It’s a trendy topic. The stuff of websites [1], YouTube clips [2], NGOs [3] and even consultancies [4]. I mentioned it in one prior Farmdoc’s Blog post [5]. I began to think about it over 12 years ago. Until then I had no WLB. For me it was all work and no life. Starting in 1998 I’ve consciously redressed that imbalance. Part-time work was big step. (Sweetheart Vivienne would tell you I’ve never stopped working full-time. If so then I’ve reduced my work from 140% to 100%.) Working less has left more time for me to do non-work things. And I’m doing them: reading, walking, blogging, listening to podcasts and music, and even thinking (aka omphaloskepsis [6]). Oh, and farming. Since my rebalancing started, I’ve had a feeling of urgency. A need to make up for lost time. Lost decades. But my interests are so broad I’ve found it hard to avoid non-work overload. The photograph top left’s of my bedside table yesterday afternoon. Piled up are 12 books and 10 magazines. Another book’s awaiting pickup at the library. On my iPod are 29 unlistened-to podcasts. And my iTunes downloads 11 new podcasts each week. So you see, folks, I’m not coping. I need to nut out a strategy and a plan. I can’t see myself working much less. So I have to reduce the competing demands on my non-work time. Because I don’t know how sturdy my bedside table is.

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