LIFE & WORK: BLENDING THE BORDERS

Woman blurring the edges of work and life
Date:
03/08/2023
Author:
Nina Geraghty


These days, I'm seeing that, what would have made my old corporate hierarchy's toes curl and which I couldn't imagine all those years ago before I left, is now a reality in my life:

LIFE FLUIDITY: there’s far less artificial separation between my work life and my personal life, now everything I do is simply part of my whole life. The 9-5 construct bears little resemblance to how our lives actually flow. If we stay fluid, work finds its place woven in between childcare, cooking, shopping, leisure, self-care and rest.

Having flexibility means we're less likely to work at the expense of our families or special interests or our friendships and relationships. It means being able to set our own pace in achieving results even if that means working odd hours, perhaps later in the evening or in differently-styled ‘offices’ like quiet cafes.

BEING AT PEACE WITH TIME:  rush, hurry, urgency, stress. It’s a badge of honour to be super-busy and constantly on the run. In a world where speed is so highly valued, to slow down doesn't make the least sense until we find ourselves ill, in crisis, gasping for breath trying to survive our manic lives. Giving ourselves longer lead times, slowing things down to an easeful pace, takes us from panicky running to a relaxed walking adagio.

The CEO of an organisation I work with insists we will not meet deadlines if it means stressing ourselves to death to do so. We've found ourselves elegantly sidestepping deadlines as they go whooshing past, and then we simply set new ones that suit our collective lives better. We're still achieving big things that matter. This level of self-care is a radical counter-culture act when 'faster' is seen as essential to success.

VALUING CONNECTION: despite what the norm expects of us - that we leave our personal lives at the door when we're at work - the truth is we bring them inside as unseen baggage anyway, they still impact our inner state, only they're hidden and unspoken.

When we work solely in the interest of maximising efficiencies, we begin to lose humanity, we become more machine-like, pushing for relentless, multi-tasking productivity. By making space to share our life stories during our business meetings, we let others see what we're bringing to the table on this particular day, what personal challenges we may be struggling with; and feel the relief of once having expressed what is going on for us, being able to focus better.

Another CEO I work with, values connecting as human beings and sharing our personal lives so much, it’s a de facto part of our marketing team meetings. She believes there’s alchemy in doing business this way; we focus better on business when the personal is given an equal hearing.  A beginning round of a simple check-in is a good way to do this; yes the meeting is longer. And we have connected on a deeper level and feel kindly and warmly towards each other at the end. Worth it? I have no doubt.

Woman blurring the edges of work and life
Woman blurring the edges of work and life
Woman blurring the edges of work and life
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