Em­brace work-life im­bal­ance

TO­MAS CHAMORRO-PRE­MUZIC

Finweek English Edition - - FEEDBACK -

Why is ev­ery­body so con­cerned about work-life bal­ance? The con­ven­tional wis­dom is that worka­holics are greedy and self­ish peo­ple who are bound to die from a heart at­tack. But, as the great ad­ver­tis­ing ex­ec­u­tive David Ogilvy once said: “Men die of bore­dom, psy­cho­log­i­cal con­flict and disease. They do not die of hard work.” This is es­pe­cially true if your work is mean­ing­ful.

Most of the stud­ies on the harm­ful ef­fects of ex­ces­sive work rely on sub­jec­tive eval­u­a­tions of work over­load. They fail to dis­en­tan­gle re­spon­dents’ be­liefs and emo­tions about work. If some­thing bores you, it will surely seem te­dious. When you hate your job, you will reg­is­ter any amount of work as ex­ces­sive – it’s like forc­ing some­one to eat a big plate of food he dis­likes, then ask­ing if he’s had enough of it.

Over­work­ing is really only pos­si­ble if you are not hav­ing fun at work. By the same to­ken, any amount of work will be dull if you are un­en­gaged or find your work un­ful­fill­ing.

Maybe it’s time to re­de­fine the work-life

bal­ance – or at least stop f ix­at­ing on it.

Here are some con­sid­er­a­tions:

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