What is your breaking point? The productivity vs. work-life balance challenge

Shortly after Thanksgiving, someone posted the following in a LinkedIn group that I am a member of: What is your breaking point? The productivity vs. work-life balance challenge.

A lively discussion ensued and I’d like to share some of the thoughts and comments:

  • breaking_pointMaximum productivity requires sustained long-term focus on staying fit physically, mentally and spiritually in order to maximize our productive work life potential. Everyone knows releasing stress through exercise is key, not to mention the benefits of less time off for sickness for those who exercise regularly.
  • Enjoy your life, enjoy your family. There is no reason that business needs to go on 24/7 the way it does today. We all need to slow down so that we don’t reach our breaking point.
  • When people give their best performance, lack of organizational respect is one of the reasons for the burnout because this starts from within and gradually takes a revealing posture.
  • Sometimes we put unrealistic deadlines on ourselves just to prove what a “miracle worker” we are to the company. Meanwhile, we put unnecessary mental and physical stress on ourselves, and we teach our staff, fellow employees and our children in order to get ahead they need to work insane hours and give family life the short end of the stick. Nobody wins! Planning, Priorities, Realistic Goals, and Communication.
  • More “productivity” does not necessarily mean “more volume”.
  • We find ourselves in a stressed/burnt-out situation when our behavior doesn’t match our value system. If we value family, free time and relationships, but we work constantly, we will be stressed. If we value climbing the career ladder and are devoted to our profession, and we don’t work constantly, we will be stressed. When our values are in sync with our day to day behavior we have focus, peace and feel successful.
  • work-life_unbalancedThe more employees are able to use their strong preferences as much as possible and their weak preferences as little as possible, the less effort it takes for them to highly productive.
  • Healthy human beings work to live; rather than live to work. The sooner companies acknowledge and accept that, the healthier their companies will be. Healthy, happy employees tends to lead to healthy, happy companies overall. It’s a win/win when you stop expecting employees to “balance” their lives with their source of pay. There is no such thing.

Many who contributed to this thread confessed to reaching a breaking point at sometime during their career. Have you reached your breaking point? Do you have good work-life balance? Or was Jack Welch right when he said, “There is no such thing as work-life balance. There are work-life choices, and you make them, and they have consequences.” What do you think?