Friday, January 11, 2008

They Shoot Horses, Don't They?

One thing I've noticed pondering my 2007 & 2008 goals is this: a relative level of success in business & financial items, a relative level of failure in personal and spiritual items.

This has me concerned, for obvious reasons. Who wants to be the guy who made it big and made tons of money, but died fat and lonely at age 45?

I started realizing how intertwined these goals are... just now. It's 7:03pm. I'm still at the office on a Friday night. I'll be leaving soon, but hey.. I'm not an investment banker and I don't have A Passion For My Work That Surpasses All Else.

(Side Story: At my 1st job interview out of college, the Senior Vice President of the company I worked at was the last interview before a job decision. He asked "What's the most important thing in your life?" and I immediately responded "My faith in God". He looked about as stunned as if I had said "Porn". He then, very cautiously, said "I've never heard that response before in all the interviews I've ever had." To which the chipper 22-year-old me responded "I'm sincerely sorry to hear that". I got the job.)

So what's the problem? Well, it's hard to be home for dinner 4 nights out of 5 (a goal from last year), work out 4 nights a week (another goal) or hit your weight goal (well, I *exceeded* my goal... does that count?!) if you're working 12 hours every day. Work/life balance appears to be more than just a cliche'.

I'm sure some of you with 2 (or more) jobs are saying something to the effect of "Quit whining", but I'm guessing many of you recoil in horror at the thought that something even approaching 60 hours a week might be normal. This does not include my time spent cheerfully blogging; those hours are mentally deducted (as is lunch, although I hardly ever take a lunch and haven't eaten since 6:30 this morning) to arrive at my weekly work schedule.

Actually, my boss asked my team to track its time in various areas to see if we were focusing on the right work items. This is excellent, because it also allows me to see, at the end of the year, exactly how much time work takes out of my life.

My ideal goal would be to work a 45 hour week. Not realistic by any stretch of reality at this point, but that would be nice. 50 hours is more likely, and 55 hours is probably the reality I'm facing assuming I work hard to reduce 5-10 hours of work a week.

I'm interested in the work patterns of my readers. If you'd like to discuss my work/life (im)balance or your own working arrangements, I'm all ears.

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