Tuesday, July 27, 2010

live to work or work to live: taking stock

image via weheartit

Live to work or work to live. What does that phrase even mean? It started out as a way of implying that there is more to life than just what happens from 9-5 weekdays. When the ideas of ‘quality of life’ and ‘work/life balance’ were still new and fresh and exciting, this phrase was so overused it’s kind of lost its original meaning. It no longer has the same impact it did when it was first coined.

A great indicator of what is being valued in your life at any one time is looking at how much time is being spent on that activity. Sure, most full time jobs require you to spend 40 hours a week on whatever it is you’re employed to do. But how much time on top of that are you spending on work? While the time spent is usually valuable in terms of getting things done, it’s also a clear indicator of two things:

1. How much you value your work
2. How much you value your discretionary time

Think of time as a commodity, something that has value similar to cash. (insert lame pun like joke about 'time is money') What I’m getting at, is that those two points essentially have equal value until you choose to prioritise one over the other. That’s the value part.

The point? Time spent often indicates where your values lie.

Once identified where your values are in terms of time spent, do they match what you thought your values were?

Pew published some research suggesting that Gen Y are driven by values in different ways than previous generations. It makes for some interesting reading. Can openness to change be considered a value?

I'd love to hear what you think, leave me a comment.