Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Do you know where your wells are?

Last Sunday at church we heard some interesting thoughts from our Minister about the need for taking time to rest and let the world ‘stop a while.’ Helen talked metaphorically about how, on a long journey, we need the sustenance of water to carry on.

She said "We all need to know where our wells are."

I liked that metaphor and it made me think about work, management and leadership.

Do you know where your wells are? OR .....

Are you one of those all too typical A-Plus managers who;

  • Works endless hours?
  • Sacrifices your home life for work?
  • Doesn’t have time to rest?
  • Doesn’t know when you are tired?
  • Believes you will have plenty of time to relax once you are well off?

Maybe it’s time to identify your wells to make sure you don’t metaphorically 'die' of thirst on your journey to the top.


Steve Sherlock said...

Trevor, good reminder. I liked Covey's 7 habits and the 7th, "sharpen the saw" speaks to the need to rest and recover for the next steps. Makes so much sense. Interesting side piece from the track and field coaching class I took recently that highlighted the "real" physical improvement comes during the rest period between the sessions. The body needs this recovery time.

Trevor Gay said...

Thanks for that Steve - as always, common sense, simplicity and realism from you. The last person to recognise they are tired is often the person themselves in my experience. I worked with many people in my healthcare career that one can see are heading for serious health problems unless they slow down. Sadly some people become very ill simply because they did not take a rest. I believe in working hard – very hard and playing hard but I also believe that we all need to have a positive plan about resting and taking time out. For instance I often feel I MUST carry on working but Annie and I will go to the gym and have a complete break for three hours from work and guess what? – no serious consequences while we have been away – and we always feel better when we return to work. Simplicity, needless to say :-)

Sriram said...


Despite the worldwide quest for Work-Life Balance, very few have found an acceptable definition of the concept. I recently read an article on work-life balance and the author begins by defining what work-life balance is not! Here it goes…
Work-Life Balance does not mean an equal balance. Trying to schedule an equal number of hours for each of your various work and personal activities is usually unrewarding and unrealistic. Life is and should be more fluid than that.

Your best individual work-life balance will vary over time, often on a daily basis. The right balance for you today will probably be different for you tomorrow. The right balance for you when you are single will be different when you marry, or if you have children; when you start a new career versus when you are nearing retirement.
There is no perfect, one-size fits all, balance you should be striving for. The best work-life balance is different for each of us because we all have different priorities and different lives. However, at the core of an effective work-life balance definition are two key everyday concepts that are relevant to each of us. They are daily Achievement and Enjoyment, ideas almost deceptive in their simplicity.
You cannot get the full value from life without BOTH Achievement and Enjoyment. Focusing on Achievement and Enjoyment every day in life helps you avoid the "As Soon As Trap", the life dulling habit of planning on getting around to the joys of life and accomplishment "as soon as…."
Ask yourself now, when was the last time you Achieved AND Enjoyed something at work? What about Achieved AND Enjoyed with your family; your friends? And how recently have you Achieved AND Enjoyed something just for you?
Why not take 20 minutes on the way home from work and do something just for yourself? And when you get home, before you walk in the door, think about whether you want to focus on achieving or enjoying at home tonight. Then act accordingly when you do walk in the door.
At work you can create your own best Work-Life Balance by making sure you not only Achieve, but also reflect the joy of the job, and the joy of life, every day. If nobody pats you on the back today, pat yourself on the back. And help others to do the same.
When you do, when you are a person that not only gets things done, but also enjoys the doing, it attracts people to you. They want you on their team and they want to be on your team. Simple concepts. And once you focus on them as key components of your day, they are not that hard to implement. So, make it happen, for yourself, your family and all the important individuals you care about…every day for the rest of your life… Achieve and Enjoy!

Trevor Gay said...

Hi Sriram and thanks for that. Achieve and enjoy are good words to remember - I like the simplicity of your approach :-)

Work and life balance is important for everyone and the best 'state' is surely when you enjoy both your work and your home life and it becomes impossible to separate the two psychologically. We do not become different people when we cross the threshold of our work place. We have to find the balance that suits us as individuals.