Productivity and GTD

The (False) Work-Life Dichotomy

AUTHOR: Francisco Sáez
"There's no such thing as work-life balance. There are work-life choices, and you make them, and they have consequences." ~ Jack Welch
Blog productivity

Treating work as a special and different life, entirely separated from our personal and social life, seems to me a too widespread mistake, perhaps because it has some logic.

The big problem comes when we perceive work only as a source of income. When we have a purely economic vision of our work, we cease to be emotionally connected to the tasks we have to do. We only work because we are paid, so we wait to have permission to live our own lives until the end of the workday, weekends, holidays or when we get retired.

This approach forces the elements of your personal and social life to be in constant struggle with your work, all trying to get your attention, pulling you in all directions and causing you stress and anxiety. Since you spend a good part of your time working, this dichotomy is certainly a wrong approach if you want to have a meaningful life in its entirety.

Reading that book you feel like, spending a romantic weekend with your partner, launching a new project in your company… it is all part of your life. Everything you do defines who you are.

Of course, your work pays the bills, but it should be primarily a source of personal and professional value. Surely there are tasks that you enjoy a lot (if not, I would consider leaving) and others that make you die of boredom. But in your personal life there are also daily tasks you must do even if you do not like them—ironing clothes and doing the taxes are two clear examples for me.

So maybe you should seek balance between exciting and boring actions, instead of a work-life balance.

And for that, all you need is a map of your work that includes not only the tasks at the office, but all the things you care about. You simply need a tool like GTD, which allows you to make conscious decisions about the actions you must perform.

2 comments

D77a126801d64b0bdcb7ef01823f1121
Commented about 5 years ago Thomas Kirven

You nailed it! Creating line of sight to the things that matter in life is crucial. However, doing that is like working out a new muscle that takes time and practice.

D77a126801d64b0bdcb7ef01823f1121 Thomas Kirven

You nailed it! Creating line of sight to the things that matter in life is crucial. However, doing that is like working out a new muscle that takes time and practice.

Fcb879f1bc70aa0f661b842011f280fb
Commented about 5 years ago Francisco Sáez

Absolutely. Willpower is a skill that works like a muscle: it must be trained.

Thanks for your comment @Thomas!

Fcb879f1bc70aa0f661b842011f280fb Francisco Sáez

Absolutely. Willpower is a skill that works like a muscle: it must be trained.

Thanks for your comment @Thomas!

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