Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Work/Life Balance or Work/Life Rhythm
I've been thinking recently about the theme of "work/life balance." Maybe a better term is "work/life rhythm." You see, I'm found that the key to a productive and beautiful life is a work/life rhythm of rest and labor in which the two play off each other. This comes from being a drummer: having spent countless hours in the past few decades on a drum set in search of scintillating rhythms, I know the key to great rhythms is the artful combining of both sounds and spaces.
In order to find the right work/life rhythm, there is at least one key practice: restrict technology’s reach. Unplug often enough from techie devices, so you can catch the rhythms of your heart.
So here's one way to get there: detach yourself from the email leash. Despite the ongoing example of our President and his omnipresent Blackberrys—and despite the fact that I’m drawn to email like a moth to flame—my iPhone and its alluring email are sufficiently far from my grasp, my hearing, and my vision while I type out these reflections. Why? Emails relentless knock at the door of my consciousness, and that is not good for my brain’s ability to go deep. It’s at the depths that we find creativity and innovation. If you want a new insight on the pitch you’re about to make, the book you want to write, and or how to manage that challenging employee, you need to move into the deeper functions of my brain. I will condense an enormous body of research from the incredible insights of brain science with this: to become creative and productive, our brain needs to engage its deeper functions. When we are constantly interrupted by urgencies, it is simply impossible.
And here's the bigger payoff. When you begin to detach in order to find a healthy work/life rhythm, you start to hear the rhythm of your heart. There you can begin to hear the rhythm of God.