Don’t strive for Work-Life Balance, Strive for Tech-Life Balance!

By Kamal Sarma

Technology has shaped nearly every aspect of our lives. It has drastically altered the work/life balance many of us had previously enjoyed. In that regard, technology is often viewed as both a blessing and a curse.

Work Life Separation 1970-1980s

Some people may remember a time — in the 1970s and 80s — when it was possible to entirely “leave work at the office.” In this era, most bosses did not have (or want) their employees’ home phone numbers. There was, of course, no e-mail, no Internet, no smart phones… and virtually no way to contact you once you left the office. People could go home to relax with their families, without worry they would be required to perform further work duties until the next day.

Work Life Balance 1990-2000s

Later — in the 1990s and early 2000s — people could still enjoy an element of ‘private time.’ It was not until the mid-90s that business Internet use became commonplace. Only a handful of people carried the sometimes bulky cell phones of the era, and — with the exception of pagers — the methods by which the office could contact you outside of working hours were few.

Work Life Integration NOW

But in today’s ‘wired society,’ it is virtually impossible to enjoy truly private moments. Smartphones, tablet computers and other mobile devices have become ‘instant offices.’ Employees are able — and often times expected — to be accessible and available for business needs at any moment. While this ‘new face of business’ certainly will not change anytime soon, there are methods by which today’s worker can still enjoy a balance, while still being part of the technological ‘scene.’

The solution

Take time to SHUT DOWN — even if it’s only for a few minutes a day — to completely remove yourself from wired devices (including the television), and truly clear and REST your mind. The sad thing is most people know how to NUMB the mind with TV or alcohol but very few people know how to REST the mind. Although resting and numbing the mind can initially feel very similar, they have a very different impact on long-term well-being and productivity.

Many of us are ‘addicted to work,’ and may feel that if we slow down, even for a few minutes, the working world will pass us by. Some fear any lull in activity may result in their own professional demise. This fear unfortunately is destructive to long-term performance.

People who allow technology to dictate their lives become VICTIMS and ultimately feel disempowered. They then unfortunately go on to disempower their teams and families. Those who are able to step away from the computer, the cell phone, and any other distractions — even if it’s only for a moment — will become more innovative and replace “busy-ness” for being more productive.

Oh one final thing, please do not text and drive!

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