About work-life balance

Last week, although it was supposed to be a short, relaxed week, since we had Thanksgiving, turned out to be very stressful for me. To be precise, it started on Thu a week before Thanksgiving, when I didn’t get as good statistical results, as I’ve expected for my recent production change. I could not stop “watching the boiling pot”, or “watching the paint drying” or however else you want to call it. I’ve collaborated with other co-workers to discuss the situation, or I would rather say I was annoying people and not letting them doing anything, because I needed to talk to somebody about “why it does not work the way we expected”.

While I was unable to take my mind off all those issues, I started to think again about what we call “work-life balance”. I had a number of conversations with my manager on this topic, and he was always saying that there should be a work-life balance, and that people actually should “leave work at work”, and “not bring work home”. And I was always saying, that when a person is passionate about work, (s)he can’t stop thinking about it.

And I still think, it’s true. Or, may be it’s trickier… I hate, when you are expected to do work at any time, and I hate even more, when your management judge how good and/or loyal are you based on the number of hours you are willing to work overtime. Fortunately, it has never being a case at Enova.

But still- can you really stop thinking about something, when you are trying to solve a problem? Can you stop thinking about stuff, when you are excited about how great things are turning out? I remember I first experienced such kind of attitude when I worked for New York Department of Education. Although that was a consulting work, so starting at 7 AM I was done at 4 PM, I couldn’t stop thinking about what I will be working on tomorrow. And often, when I would sit back to my computer in the evening to send personal e-mails, I would just drop a line into work e-mail “for tomorrow”, and within half an hour I would receive 3-4 responses, because the rest of the team would not stop thinking about our project outside work hours, too.

And one more thing. I am super-fortunate, that my husband is also in IT, and that he can tolerate the fact, that sometimes I can’t speak about anything except work.  I even suspect, he actually likes it! And what it more important, nobody can understand why I am particularly happy or unhappy at work as good, as he can…. I guess, there are couples who are just fine working in different fields and not sharing all these things, but we are definitely not one of them.

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4 Comments

Filed under Team and teamwork, Workplace

4 responses to “About work-life balance

  1. Hey Henrietta! You know I can relate…! You were always so passionate about your work. I definitely agree with you – passionate is the right word.
    But as I’ve mentioned to you in the past, I *do* think you can and should stop working, especially if it’s a problem you are stuck on solving… My experience has been that when you learn to stop processing the problem in the foreground of your mind, your subconscientious mind takes over and gives your mind a chance to be more creative at the solution. I can’t tell you how many times a solution to a problem has come to me while I’m showering (and singing, LOL)… 🙂
    Miss you my sweet friend!!!!

    • Henrietta

      I know, I know, you can! And during the NYC DoE days we talked about solving a problem in the shower:). I used to do the same: ) 🙂 That’s exactly what I mean by “not stopping thinking about it”. You STILL think, even when you “stop” :))

      Miss you too! And I’m glad you are reading this! Keep commenting:) The more you comment – the more I write 🙂

  2. I have a continual discussion with my colleagues regarding this. I really measure my satisfaction from a workplace by “how much I take it home” (in the meaning you’re talking about). If I don’t think about my work after work – it means that it’s simply not interesting enough.
    But nobody agree…

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