☕️ MeisterTalk: What's the Answer to the Work-Life Balance Problem?

Miša Hennin
Miša Hennin Admin, MeisterLobster, EN Business, Ambassador Posts: 1,246 Community Admin

Hey,

Last week, I saw this post from Netflix's co-founder Marc Randolph and it got me thinking about what the ideal solution for a good work-life balance might be. With constant new research, theories and ideas, it's hard to choose what would actually work best, i.e. what would improve our quality of life without sacrificing productivity and professional progress?

Though this seems like a logic question, when I saw Randolph's post I realised just how personal the balance between work and life is. While the ideal undoubtedly also depends on your job, level and industry, I (personally) can't picture a world in which I'd be thrilled to have only Tuesday evenings free for my partner. This would always feel an imbalance, simply too little in a life that is too short.

I'd love to hear what you think - Can you see an ideal? Is this a decision based on personal preference or something else? Have you seen any truly creative solutions to the work-life balance problem you could share with us?

Can't wait to hear!

Miša

Comments

  • lightning mcBEAN
    lightning mcBEAN EN Basic Posts: 1 New Here

    Wow what a good question. I totally agree, this is such an important thing to consider.

    I recently watched Severance (a series where employees of a company have their memory/brain severed so that their 'work selves' are totally unaware of who their 'personal selves' are - i.e. completely different work and private lives), and felt it was interesting how it took the work/life balance debate to the extreme. I would be interested to hear what others think about this.

  • Joerg Koper
    Joerg Koper DACH Partner, MT Tester, DE Business Posts: 1,336 Community Leader
    edited January 2023

    Hi @Miša 👋😉

    I definitely see it like you. Life is too short to have only Tuesday evenings for each other. I look at us humans in life like a pendulum that should stay in a healthy balance as much as possible, because a persistent imbalance causes big problems in us. Physically and also mentally.

    That's why I only see life balance as the true solution for a well balanced life. All issues that seem important, less important, annoying or sometimes necessary to us must be brought into a balance that is as individual as our respective personalities.

    I also take a somewhat critical view of time management, because we cannot manage time. It is there and can be used as we see fit. This is where our respective priorities and our self management come into play.

    In my view, the most important thing is to realise that we have to find our individual life balance with the help of priorities and a sense of our well-being.

    Then it doesn't matter whether it's about family, work (our vocation), leisure time, meditation, hobbies, love, friends, sport, fun, action, etc.

    My wife Barbara and I live by this principle, give ourselves space and still enjoy a lot of time together because it is important to us. In this way we can also work together, discuss, argue constructively, laugh together and then on the other hand walk in silence for hours through the scottish Highlands.

    Best, Jörg

    Als Experten-Partner von Meister führe ich in meiner Agentur u. a. Workshops für die Integration der Meister Software durch. Hier in der Community freue ich mich auf den Austausch mit Euch und helfe bei Fragen zu MeisterTask, MeisterNote und MindMeister gerne weiter.

    Weitere Informationen findest Du auf agenturkoper.de und LinkedIn.

  • Miša Hennin
    Miša Hennin Admin, MeisterLobster, EN Business, Ambassador Posts: 1,246 Community Admin

    Hey!

    Crazy @lightning mcBEAN - I just finished Severance yesterday after @Andrew Lapidus recommended it to me every single week for two months 😂. I agree that it's a brilliant series which takes a positive concept (work-life balance) to the extreme and considers the consequences of this. I found it fascinating just how twisted this take on a work-life balance is.

    @Jörg Koper what a healthy perspective! you're right - it's important to not let ourselves be consumed by only one thing. a little bit of everything proves ideal (even having some things that you feel are less positive is important to allow us to appreciate the rest). Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

  • Rooster McNugget
    Rooster McNugget MT Tester, DE Business Posts: 570 Community Leader

    Hi everyone,

    here are so many good methods to create a good life. I agree with @Miša and @Jörg Koper on many things. From my point of view, as you said, these are the priorities that we set for ourselves.

    For me, a good work-life balace is when I can spend as much time as possible with my wife and children. However, I also really enjoy working. I love my job, so it's a pleasure to go to work every day! My work-life balance is similar to Marc Randolph's but I'm even more extrem. 😁

    Since my kids are born I took time to be at home for lunch every day (my commute is 20 minutes each way). While lunch time I do not answer the cell phone and I don't check mails or anything like this. Just having time with my family.

    I also set myself the end of work to 5:30 pm. After 5:30 I'm no longer available. After that time I also don't check any Mail. After that time it's family time. To be honest, sometimes I still have business events or something similar that take place int the evening. But these ar not a problem as they ar not common.

    Means, I usualy work from 7am to 11:40 am and from 1:15 pm to 5:30 pm. At Saturday and Sunday I do not work either. Weekend is family time! Means, I'm available 9 hours a day, 5 days a week. If someone doesn't manage to reach me within these 9 hours, the one has to try again the next day.

    To work like this gives me a lot of family time and also me-time. I know it's not for everyone, but it's perfect for me. 😊

    Best, Samuel

    The impossible does not exist! The solution has just not been found yet!

  • Andrew Lapidus
    Andrew Lapidus Admin, MeisterLobster, DE Business Posts: 1,013 Community Admin

    So many great points in this thread 🙌

    I definitely agree with Jörg's point about the limitations of "time management" as it is often sold - it's something we discussed in a previous thread discussing this excellent book! There is certainly no way to successfully manage time to "get it all done" and reach inbox zero. In my opinion, successful time and personal management is always about knowing when to "say no" and to be able to prioritize tasks with wisdom, whether at work or at home — After all, these both eat into the finite time we're given, so maybe the concept of a "balance" doesn't really make sense in this way!

    To that end, I definitely love Samuel @Rooster McNugget 's principle of having a hard break from work at a certain time - I also see this as an extremely important rule that should be followed with discipline.

    To be honest though, this is something I definitely struggle with outside of my normal working hours! I often have invasive work-related thoughts which always seem to intrude at inconvenient times. At their worst, such stressful thoughts can can take me out of my personal life and send me down a mental rabbit hole of going over the upcoming week while sitting with friends! I think a lot of people have this issue.

    Imho, this is where the true strength of an effective task/personal management system comes into play: there is always a limit to how many tasks can be done with a certain amount of time, but the mental wellness that comes from proper "balance" (to use @Jörg Koper 's term) can help prevent such moments!

  • Rooster McNugget
    Rooster McNugget MT Tester, DE Business Posts: 570 Community Leader

    @Andrew Lapidus,

    I also have this situation you describe very often:

    "To be honest though, this is something I definitely struggle with outside of my normal working hours! I often have invasive work-related thoughts which always seem to intrude at inconvenient times. At their worst, such stressful thoughts can can take me out of my personal life and send me down a mental rabbit hole of going over the upcoming week while sitting with friends! I think a lot of people have this issue."

    Well my "solution" is every time I have an idea or something I need to think about (and I have this a few times), I write it down on my iPhone (make a new task in MT 😉) or I make a short voice record and set a reminder on the following working day. In this way I can leave the thougt behind me, because I know that I get a reminder the next time I'm at work. And I can't solve the problem in my free time anyway, so I try to not think about it and enjoy life instead.

    And what I always say to myself: If you can't see your cell phone, you don't have to worry aobut work. (Ist das Mobile aus den Augen, hast du keine Arbeitssorgen!). If I'm at home, my cell phone is always in my bedroom. (Ok, I'm honest! I have an apple whatch and if there is an emergency in the company and they call me, I answer😉). But to put the cell phone away helped me very much.

    It needs a lot of self discipline, but life is to short to be at work even when you are at home or on the road with friends/family! 😉

    Best, Samuel

    The impossible does not exist! The solution has just not been found yet!

  • Andrew Lapidus
    Andrew Lapidus Admin, MeisterLobster, DE Business Posts: 1,013 Community Admin

    1000x this! Thanks for the great and actionable advice! It reminds me of a main theme of Getting Things Done, a book that highly influenced me: if we can "capture" work thoughts in a system we're confident in, we can help stave off those intrusive thoughts by, as you say, having the confidence that these thoughts will be there in the morning!

    I'm actually going to resolve to make this happen in the next few days 💪 I'll create quick tasks in MT when these thoughts occur and see if it doesn't help. Besten Dank!!

    -Andrew

  • Rooster McNugget
    Rooster McNugget MT Tester, DE Business Posts: 570 Community Leader

    Glad I could "inspire" you. Even if it's difficult sometimes to implement everything like this, it has helped me a lot and I'm much more relaxed. Hope it works vor you too (or a variant adapted for you)!

    And I will check out the book you said: Getting Things Done😉

    Best, Samuel

    The impossible does not exist! The solution has just not been found yet!

  • Joerg Koper
    Joerg Koper DACH Partner, MT Tester, DE Business Posts: 1,336 Community Leader

    Hey @Rooster McNugget 👋😉

    I like the way you handle your upcoming thoughts. It's like meditation...letting the thoughts come, accept them (make a notice) and let them go for now...breathe 😊

    You're absolutely right @Andrew Lapidus...many people have to struggle with those thoughts in their free time. Especially when family or friends actually want to enjoy their undivided attention.

    Meditation is indeed a key to learn letting thoughts come, accept them and let them go while putting the main focus on beloved ones. And sometimes it's of course funny too, to do an analytic meditation about noticed thoughts of work or a project...to find solutions by rotating and turn them like a hologram 😉

    Best, Jörg

    Als Experten-Partner von Meister führe ich in meiner Agentur u. a. Workshops für die Integration der Meister Software durch. Hier in der Community freue ich mich auf den Austausch mit Euch und helfe bei Fragen zu MeisterTask, MeisterNote und MindMeister gerne weiter.

    Weitere Informationen findest Du auf agenturkoper.de und LinkedIn.

  • Miša Hennin
    Miša Hennin Admin, MeisterLobster, EN Business, Ambassador Posts: 1,246 Community Admin

    Loving the discussion here and the way it developed. I particularly like what you said @Jörg Koper about letting the thoughts of what you have to do the next day come and go rather than fixating on them!

  • Joerg Koper
    Joerg Koper DACH Partner, MT Tester, DE Business Posts: 1,336 Community Leader

    The ideal state (goal) is a relaxed flow through the day @Miša 😉

    ...love discussions like this too 😋

    Als Experten-Partner von Meister führe ich in meiner Agentur u. a. Workshops für die Integration der Meister Software durch. Hier in der Community freue ich mich auf den Austausch mit Euch und helfe bei Fragen zu MeisterTask, MeisterNote und MindMeister gerne weiter.

    Weitere Informationen findest Du auf agenturkoper.de und LinkedIn.

  • Olaf Roeb
    Olaf Roeb MT Tester, EN Pro Posts: 121 Star Contributor

    Hi everybody,

    just want to mention @Miša because it's your discussion, but also @Jörg Koper , @Andrew Lapidus and @Rooster McNugget for obvious reasons ... just read this dialog with a "machine":


    Me: How can I use my weekend to relax and experience the Black Forest Winter outside when I am also planning to use the same weekend for experimenting with OPENAI?

    OpenAI: (after almost 20 seconds of waiting):

    Here are some ideas for combining relaxation with experimenting with OpenAI during a winter weekend in the Black Forest:

    1. Take breaks from your OpenAI experimentation to enjoy winter activities such as skiing, snowshoeing or hot springs.
    2. Plan outdoor experiments with OpenAI, such as testing its ability to generate poetry or descriptive text about the winter landscape.
    3. Use OpenAI to plan your relaxation activities, such as asking for recommendations for the best winter picnic spots or restaurants in the area.
    4. Integrate OpenAI into your relaxation routine by having it generate personalized meditations or guided breathing exercises.
    5. Use OpenAI to plan a winter-themed movie or game night to balance out time spent working on experiments.

    Remember to prioritize self-care and make time for rest and relaxation throughout the weekend.

    ...

  • Miša Hennin
    Miša Hennin Admin, MeisterLobster, EN Business, Ambassador Posts: 1,246 Community Admin

    Hi @Olaf Roeb - brilliant 😀. What a crazy life that AI can now suggest activities which indicate sensitivity and an understanding of emotion 😱.

    Thank you for sharing!

  • Joerg Koper
    Joerg Koper DACH Partner, MT Tester, DE Business Posts: 1,336 Community Leader
    edited January 2023

    @Olaf Roeb

    well...🤔...I like it 🤓😅

    Thats the kind of conversation with a machine, that absolutely fits my point of view.

    Thanks for sharing Olaf🙏

    Best, Jörg

    Als Experten-Partner von Meister führe ich in meiner Agentur u. a. Workshops für die Integration der Meister Software durch. Hier in der Community freue ich mich auf den Austausch mit Euch und helfe bei Fragen zu MeisterTask, MeisterNote und MindMeister gerne weiter.

    Weitere Informationen findest Du auf agenturkoper.de und LinkedIn.