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Embracing a Porous Concept of Work/Life Balance

I’m in Turks and Caicos, relaxing on a beach, and I can’t seem to shut my brain down. If anything, my brain is firing off madly in all directions. So with notepad in hand, I cruise down to my chaise lounge to plot, strategize and brainstorm at a frenetic pace. 

Some might argue that my sense of work/life balance is shot. I mean, come on – Turks and Caicos and I can’t leave the office behind?

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m still snorkeling, diving, swimming, reading semi-trashy novels and going for long walks, but I have no desire to shut the work side of my brain off.  Like the dolphins that play in the bay here, I can’t totally turn my entire brain off, nor do I wish to.

This idea of work/life balance being represented by a Ft. Knox-like impermeable wall is an elusive goal for many people–a goal that ends up causing many people heaps of stress as they desperately strive to, like a ref at a boxing match, keep the two halves of their lives in separate corners.

Instead, why not embrace the notion that the wall is more like a coffee filter? Rather than shutting off your brain completely, allow the good ideas to keep percolating through the filter because history suggests that some of the most inspiring ideas happen when we let our subconscious wander, travel to new places, embrace new experiences and look at things with a fresh perspective.

Michael Kerr, December 2012,   Sign up for Mike’s acclaimed Humor at Work weekly newsletter at

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