I am probably not the best person to ask about work-life balance, because, frankly, I work all the time. I get up early, do my morning practice (a mini yoga/meditation/reflection routine that can range from five to 15 minutes long), grab breakfast and a cup of coffee (for more on the merits of that, see Coffee: A Healthy Grind?), and then go to my desk.
From there, I work like a woman possessed ó right up until I need to go work out, or I get hungry for lunch, or I feel like my brain is shutting down. Then, for a little while, I make it a point to do something fun and relaxing that doesnít involve too much thinking.
If Iím working at home, I might get the mail, or hang out laundry, or lie down on the floor and pet my dog for a little while. If Iím at the office, I might check in with my teammates, go fix a snack, or run a quick errand. While I am doing these things, I usually wind up remembering something important, or I am struck by a great idea ó generally an idea for work.
So back to work I go, and thatís pretty much the way my days proceed. On meeting-intensive days, Iím moving continuously from one conversation, update or presentation to the next. On writing- and editing-intensive days, I can look like Jack Nicholsonís character (albeit, I hope, with better hair) madly typing away in The Shining. And on days like today (when we are finishing the magazine), it can be a chaotic, shuttling dance: Mark up layouts, write my column, review illustrations ó all while fielding phone calls and remembering that I need to refill my water next time I pass the office kitchen.
For the most part, I love this. Yes, Iíve been known to work long days, but Iíve also managed to stay surprisingly healthy and happy working this way for, oh, about a decade now. So while Iím probably not the best person to ask about work-life balance, I might be a decent person to ask about how to remain relatively sane and resilient in the absence of it.
Next: how to work hard and stay healthy