Is work-life balance possible in a social media world? Are the relationships we build online via blogs, Twitter, Facebook and other social networks personal or professional or both? Where do you draw the line?
There is definitely a give-and-take required in an always-connected environment. When I get home from work, I spend quality time and dinner with my daughter. After she goes to sleep, I crank out a post or two and catch up on Reader, Twitter, email and various networks. It can be difficult to disconnect. My network is on several different time ones and the temptation to stay online for just a little longer is always there.
Finding balance takes work!
I rarely read “chain” messages/inbox spam, but this story was forwarded by a friend. I have no idea who to credit, but the analogy places our busy and 24/7 connected lives into perspective.
The Mayonnaise Jar and 2 Cups of Coffee . .
When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 cups of coffee.
A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.
The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.
The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous “yes.”
The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.
“Now,” said the professor as the laughter subsided, “I want you to
recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the
important things–God, your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions–and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car. The sand is everything else–the small stuff.”
“If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you. “Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first–the things that really matter. Set your priorities.
The rest is just sand.”
One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee
represented. The professor smiled. “I’m glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.”
How do you find work-life balance?