When Jon asked me to write a blog article about work-life balance, my first thought was, maybe he’s trying to tell me I go on holiday too much or maybe it’s because I’m half French and we have this in our genes…
Actually, I’m not going to start bragging about France, but the French seem to have nailed the whole work-life balance thing. The entire world goes on about the fact that the French never work, take two-hour lunch breaks, have far too many holidays, well they’re also the most productive people in the world (I didn’t make this up, I promise!). I’ll stop right now with the patriotism because French economy is not something to be proud about.
I do feel that I am more productive if I define specific hours or days for work and leisure than if I drag my day to late in the evening or the weekend and think about my next trip or weekend and take tripadvisor breaks throughout the day. I believe that if I set myself deadlines (I need to leave at 6.30pm as I have restaurant reservations at 7.30pm tonight – for some reason this usually work better than a Bodypump class…) I will be more productive than if I think “I’ll stay at work for as long as I need to”. Of course there are days like these but usually it works.
|My latest trip - Chiang Mai|
When I’m working, I’m really working and concentrating, but when I’m off I’m definitely not working, and I think this clear border helps me stay sane while working hard and enjoying my life. I completely agree with the saying “work to live, don’t live to work”, but, unlike most French (here I go again with the French…) I wouldn’t go to the extent that work is just a means to an end, I think you will find your work-life balance much easier to achieve if you enjoy your job and are not counting your hours.
|When I'm not working... I train elephants...|
It’s a very precarious balance…