Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Earlier this year, alone in a hotel room on my last business trip, I read a rather discouraging article about work-life balance. The article described a successful partner in a big law firm who balanced the demands of her work and family, and assured others that, "it can be done." And how did she do it?
She proudly carved out 2.5 hours of time each day to spend with her two small children, and told her clients that she was available the other 21.5 hours each day. 
So that's how it's done -- forego sleep, exercise, sex, and personal hygiene, and delegate everything else! 
Admittedly, although the lawyer advised clients that she was available 21.5 hours per day, she only allocated about 13 hours to actual legal work per day. But after the 2.5 hours with her kids and another 2 hours commuting, that leaves just 6.5 hours to sleep, shower, dress, and anything else. Which may be par for the course in her profession, but is this exemplary work-life balance?
My immediate reaction was that the legal profession could scrap its ongoing studies about why women leave law, and just read that article.  
However, upon reflection, perhaps long hours aren’t so bad if you love your work. That’s part of the equation too.
I am reminded of my successful friend Q who loves her career and recently delegated the purchase of her new car... and is always radiant. 
Of course, she also makes time for abundant yoga, shopping, and entertaining. 

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