#009: Is Work-Life Balance Really Possible? [Podcast]

In this podcast episode, I talk about work-life balance and whether or not it is really possible. In fact, I question the balance metaphor itself and pose an alternative that better describes what our focus should be.

I also share several examples from my own life, most notably a story from early in my marriage with Gail when I was working seventy hours a week.

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Special Announcements

  1. I will be attending and speaking at the SCORRE Conference in Rome, GA, April 29–May 3. If you are a public speaker or aspire to be one, you MUST attend this conference. There is nothing like it. This conference is sold out. But you can register for the conference in Vail, Colorado, October 17–20. It will sell out, so register as soon as you can.
  2. I will be doing all the backstage interviews with the speakers at the Chick-fil-A Leadercast on May 4th in Atlanta. You can find out more at Chick-fil-ALeadercast.com.
  3. I will be speaking at Catalyst Dallas, Texas on May 9–11. I will be leading a lab on Wednesday, May 9th on the topic of my new book, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World. You can find out more at CatalystDallas.com.
  4. I will be speaking at the BlogWorld & New Media Expo in New York City on June 5–7. I will be leading one of the “Super Sessions” on Thursday, June 7th, at 9:00 a.m. You can register here before May 15 and save $100 off the three-day blogger and podcaster pass.

Episode Outline

If you are working more than 55 hours a week, you are likely working too much and out of alignment with your priorities.You may be able to work more than this for a season, but, ultimately, it is not sustainable. If you continue to work this much—or more—something is going to break.

You are putting five assets at risk:

  1. Asset #1: Your health.
  2. Asset #2: Your family.
  3. Asset #3: Your friends.
  4. Asset #4: Your effectiveness.
  5. Asset #5: Your influence.

You can achieve work-life balance—or better yet—align your practice with your priorities when you follow these five suggestions:

  1. Suggestion #1: Get crystal clear on your priorities.
  2. Suggestion #2: Schedule time for the things that matter most.
  3. Suggestion #3: Establish a set of non-negotiables.
  4. Suggestion #4: Focus alignment between your priorities and your practice.
  5. Suggestion #5: Accept the fact that there will always be tension.

Listener Questions

  1. Question #1: Ben Holbrook asked, “How do you manage work-life balance with a young family and the pressures of work?”
  2. Question #2: Bob Anderson asked, “What part is up to us and what part is up to God?”
  3. Question #3: Deirdre Baker asked, “How do you balance your work life with your home life when your office is in your home?”
  4. Question #4: Jeff Keady asked, “How do you achieve work-life balance when technology allows you to take your work everywhere you go?”
  5. Question #5: Stephanie Shackelford asked, “To be good at anything, it seems I have to give one hundred percent. How can I do this and balance work and life?”

Next week, I will be talking about “How to Shave Ten Hours Off Your Work Week.” If you have a question about that topic or anything related to improving your productivity, please leave me a voice mail. I’d love to hear from you.

Episode Resources

I mentioned the following resources in the show:

Show Transcript

You can download a transcript of this episode here.

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Question: How are you doing at the practice of priority management? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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