Sunday, July 9, 2006

Work to Live; Don't Live to Work

Joe Robinson: "Vacation Advocate"

The title is my mantra. Coincidentally, I just saw The Devil Wears Prada which is about this very topic. The lesson there is to be true to yourself and do not forsake the things in life (career goals, family goals, relationships, etc.) that you really believe are important to you without making that the result of a conscious choice to do so. A corollary would be Habit 3: Put First Things First - Principles of Personal Management (i.e. "Schedule your priorities") from the 7 Habits of HIghly Effective People.

It is definitely a fact that the only reason that American workers are more "productive" than other countries is because we work more hours. If we worked the same as the rest of the world, our productivity would fall by comparison. That means that we are less efficient. Joe argues that this is ironically because we don't value leisure time as much as the rest of the world.

A simple litmus test to evaluate whether your current behaviours align with your life goals or what you would want to have accomplished by the end of your life is to check each activity with:

"I wish I would have ________ more in my life"

Would you have said, "work longer hours"? Would you have said, "spent time with family/spouse/kids"? May help you be true to your inner desires. It's kind of like how it's hard to know if you ended up in the right place at the end of your journey if you didn't know where you were heading to begin with.

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