24 hours in a day, 168 hours in a week. Junior investment bankers regularly work 80-90 hours a week. Many other high profile professions require the same level of commitment. Often those on the outside claim that working 80-90 hours a week is bad/wrong/terrible/silly/etc but we’ve spoken with so many folks who say working that much has been the best decision of their life – it allowed them to develop a deep and strong skill set far faster than would have been possible otherwise. In other words, by working 2x the hours, they were able to generate 5x or more the rewards. And depending on where you are in your career, investing heavily in your skills and competence can pay dividends for a long time.
Others we have spoke with have shared the exact opposite and how by working less and prioritizing their personal life, health, and hobbies outside of work they were able to improve their productivity. And then there are those who say productivity is overrated. What do you think? We’ve shared some interesting perspectives below.
Jenna Joseph | Wedding Photographer
I love discussing this topic. It seems to be quite controversial among my industry peers, and I may have the unpopular opinion that work-life balance (or balance in general) is in the realm of possibilities. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve lived many years of my life in overwhelm and off-balance up until a few years ago, but I think that’s why I am so passionate about this topic. I finally hit a point of realization that I have some control over this when I really put the effort in, and I love to discuss this with others. Read more>>
Ellen Dieter | Artist/Painter
Scales in life are constantly tipping from one side to another, like a pendulum swinging from one extreme to the other. My life seems like that, swinging from one way of doing things to another, and even more so, moving in a circle or spiral. There is a Rainer Maria Rilke poem that I resonate with which speaks not specifically to balance but the ever changing cycles of life, it goes like this: “I live my life in widening circles that reach out across the world. I may not complete this last one but I give myself to it. I circle around God, around the primordial tower. Read more>>
Amanda Toperoff | Professional baker and cake decorator
When it was time for me to go back to work after having my second child, I wanted to find a profession that I not only really enjoyed and was relatively good at, but one that also allowed me to work from home and have flexibility within my day so that I could be there for my kids when they needed me (which was quite a lot at that time because they were really young). I explored some options related to my previous profession and that did seem to be workable but not all that fun. Baking hadn’t even occurred to me. In my mind, baking was a hobby and fun pastime and not necessarily a career. Read more>>
Prime Hall | Underwater Torpedo League & Elite Coach
When i was in the military, especially special operations there was no balance. It was all “Go” mode which wasn’t sustainable in the long run. When i transitioned out in 2017 i slowly started to find balance. Instead of work/life balance I use more of an integration to create more flow in my life. I train elite athletes so one example is I will go surfing with one of the pro surfers that I coach. This is work / life integration for me because i get to get out into nature and get physical activity and confidence learning to surf which i get to connect more with one of my athletes. Read more>>
John Astleford | Managing Director
Early in my career I was not as good at balancing work/life. Now I dedicate and schedule more time with friends/family, enjoy a few hobbies and exercise regularly. This makes the work ride more enjoyable and helps me keep everything in perspective. Read more>>
Sara Wingate | Esthetician
When I opened in 1999 I was recently married and my husband and I didn’t have kids yet so I worked 5-6 days a week. Since having kids I kept my schedule to 3 days a week. Now that my kids are 18 & 16 I find myself working longer days and even coming in on Sundays for certain clients. Since January of 2020, I’ve been hitting all sorts of goals for business and in my personal life. What I didn’t have the energy for in the past I now do in abundance. I’m at a point in my life where I can make myself a priority. That is how I define balance. Read more>>