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Work / Life Balance: Is it even a thing?

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Updated By: Dan Soldner on Thu, Sep 04, 2014

Work life balanceAt Leighton Interactive, we are a passionate bunch of hard workers. In fact, we sometimes struggle with how much work is too much and if we should be proud of ourselves for working so hard, or feel guilty, or feel overworked. Wait... is it even work?

I stumbled upon this LinkedIn post recently by @anbray85 Click on it and read it – it’s a 60 second read with four key differences in workaholics versus employees with good work ethic. http://linkd.in/1pOC3YI

Are You A Workaholic Or Do You Have Good Work Ethic?

This relates to my struggle for balance. So first I asked myself: how do you define the word ‘work’?

I think most would say A or B:
A)    The place you go to and things you do because you have to
B)    The tasks you do every day in exchange for money

But, then there’s C:
C)    The related activities you regularly do, that help you achieve what you believe in.

It’s engrained in our culture and way of thinking that you need to drag your soul in to the ‘ol 9 to 5 so you can enjoy the rest of life when you can finally retire. I decided to break free of that way of thinking, and it started by evaluating what I love and value, and what my unique abilities are.

Spend Your Time Intentionally

If you can do what you love and what you are uniquely good at AND be compensated to do it, you can be intentional about every minute and prioritize what is most important, regardless of the time of day or day of the week.

I decided to move my perception away from answers A & B, to answer C. Suddenly, I wasn’t working so I can enjoy life someday; I was working every day towards my goals and enjoying life now.

I certainly don’t skip into to the Leighton building every day, and don’t shy away from the not-so-fun duties that we all have in our life; I simply realized that I am in control of the way I think and feel. I started approaching every day I get on this earth as the life I intentionally chose, instead. This was easy because I set very clear goals for my life in the areas of family, health, finances and spirituality.

Authors like Brian Tracy, Dale Carnegie, David Allen and Seth Godin helped changed my perspective. Jen Keul also shared a blog with me by @IamMarkManson about what you are willing to suffer for.  I would argue that once you decide, it’s not all that painful to you anymore. Check it out, it’s a 3 minute read: http://huff.to/1g6Omxe.

Once I aligned my goals with my values and unique ability, it was easy for me to decide what to do minute by minute and day by day. This isn’t complicated and we all do it already in at least certain areas of our lives.

Each member of our tribe at Leighton Interactive is here because they want to be here, because they choose to be here and enjoy being part of something bigger than themselves. Our goals are clear; we share them often, and operate as if we’ve already hit them through positive thinking.

What About Work/Life Balance?

The natural question is, “How can we ‘work’ so much?” And my answer to that usually is: It’s not work, that’s why.

This is certainly evident in the periodic late nights we all put in outside of the standard work day; and sometimes there’s a family activity, or personal need that happens in the middle of the day, and we say “so what”? If you’re here because you want to be and not because you think you have to be, there’s no wasted time spent on making sure the personal time is made good. We all trust each other to add value towards our common goals.

You might say, “Well isn’t that great for you, Dan! But, some of us do not have the luxury of quitting our jobs and frolicking about in utopia land.”

Bologna. You are in control of your own perspective whether you want to admit it or not. As Seth Godin said, “everybody has their own private Mount Everest they were put on this earth to climb” and “you are responsible for your own experience.”

I believe your moment-to-moment actions indicate what you value and want, and you do want something even if you haven’t consciously decided what it is.

So what do you want? Millions of dollars? No hungry humans on earth? To find a cure for cancer? To help others grow through your unique ability? You better decide and start being intentional about where you spend your time, if you haven’t already; life is short!

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Dan Soldner

About The Author

Dan Soldner

Dan believes that marketing has one purpose: to generate sales leads. He is certain the best marketing tactics and sales people are decision-making facilitators, not yes getters and being customer-centric is the only way to be successful in the long run. Dan started Leighton Interactive in 2009 with a vision to help high-growth companies attract and close more ideal customers. A perpetual student of sales and marketing, Dan focuses on two things: finding clients with problems Leighton Interactive solves and talent with the expertise to solve them.

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