work/life balance (if such a thing exists)

TED talks are always inspiring. This one, delivered by Nigel Marsh in Sydney recently, is particularly awesome.

It's all about the work/life balance, something almost all of us are trying to figure out these days! New technology has brought work into our homes and home into the workplace, so the line between work and play is becoming increasingly blurry.

When you work for yourself full-time, from home, it's hard to see that line sometimes: I try to close my email on a Friday night and not open it again til Monday morning, but that rarely happens!

Nigel's talk goes for 10 minutes and it's really insightful. He delivered a few gems that I had to rewind and watch again:

  • "The reality of the society that we’re in is that there are thousands and thousands of people out there, leading lives of quiet screaming desperation, where they work long hard hours at jobs they hate, to enable them to buy things they don’t need, to impress people they don’t like."  
  • "Governments and corporations aren’t going to solve this problem for us. Stop looking outside: it’s up to us as individuals to take control and responsibility for the type of lives that we want to lead. If you don’t design your life, someone else will design it for you, and you just may not like their idea of balance."
  • "It’s particularly important that you never put the quality of your life in the hands of a commercial corporation... as commercial companies are inherently designed to get as much out of you as they can get away with. It’s in their DNA, it’s what they do – even the good, well intentioned companies."