Brad Feld on Work-Life Balance
Here is an excellent podcast (summary here) where Venture Capitalist Brad Feld discusses his thoughts on the concept of work-life balance. He also shares the changes he implemented to achieve more balance in his life. Also, see a previous article by Brad on this very topic. Here are key takeaways:
- The sense of busyness is not the same as the sense of achievement.
- Balance is an important issue to consider at all ages, as many make the mistake in believing they will “get the balance on the back half of life” and find it shorter than they hoped (“you don’t know when the lights are going to go out (when you are going to die.)”)
- Work-life balance is an important issue to everyone, yet each person’s approach will be different. There is no one-size fits all approach.
Work-Life Balance is an Individual Choice
Balancing the various demands on our time is by no means easy. It is unrealistic to establish a ratio between ‘work’ and ‘play’ time to pursue the sense of balance.
Balance is an individual choice you have to make based on your personal and professional values and associate relative priorities between these values. Here are five essential guidelines to make such choices.
- Don’t become a slave to your work. As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Work is a means of living, it is not life itself.”
- Slow down your life and develop mindfulness. Simplify your life and inculcate discipline. Focus on the simple things. Control your wants and meet your core needs.
- Talk to your family and friends and explore ways to introduce more fun into your daily routine.
- Sleep more. Help around the home. Go on more vacations. Cultivate a hobby or two. Volunteer for a good cause. Do something meaningful with your spare time.
- Learn to control how you react to other people and their demands on your time, money, or both. Consider the cost on your own resources and become skilled at how to refuse unimportant demands.
Realizing the balance in your life is your prerogative.