Box of Crayons Blog


Should you be working on vacation?

It’s a world where the borders of everything are getting more porous and harder to defend.  Here are two questions that nag away at anyone with a job…

Where does ‘work’ stop and ‘life’ begin?

When are you ‘on’ and when are you ‘off’

(Just to make the point, I’m writing this blog post while sitting in a cafe in Covent Garden.  On a Sunday.   Is this then work?  Or is this play?  Or is this just life?).

A recent post on the Brazen Careerist has got my mulling over this again.  (For anyone who’s working, particularly anyone who is/involved with/managing Gen Y, this is a terrific resource).

Here’s the piece that stood out for me:

I have allowed work to completely, totally, consume my life, and I couldn’t be happier. After years of discussing what work life balance really means I’ve realized that to me, at this point in time, working on vacation is my perfect work/life balance.

What do you think?

7 Responses to Should you be working on vacation?

  • Nancy

    Work starts when I power on my “work only” computer and stops when I shut it down.

    I have purposely chosen work that does not consume me because I have other responsibilities that I am not sure I want to outsource yet 🙂

  • Caroline

    Its really easy to find work – and the response to one’s work – more validating than other parts of my life. And therefore to keep doing more and more of it. Its so accepted to say “sorry, I have to work….” or “its a business trip”… or “I have a large project to deliver”… But when you say – I’ll be seeing friends, or travelling or kicking back and reading – well, that feels like shirking. My self-work has been to allow non-work things to be AS important as work. Without feeling guilty, or as if I were shirking, or somehow lesser to work. And, to get bosses to see that too!

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  • Eduard

    Using work/life BALANCE implies weighting, measurement, calculation. Is it too much, not enough, more, less?
    I prefer to use work/life HARMONY. Then it invites words like melodious, accord, tune in….(add yours…). Which gives better direction for thinking: major or minor, what rythm, which instruments, alegro, andante?
    That moves attention from: right or wrong? to interesting?

  • Karen J

    Thank you for sharing that brilliant ‘shift of focus’, Eduard!

    ‘Harmony’ instead of ‘Balance’: it also doesn’t imply/require/demand an ‘Either/Or’ answer …

    For instance:
    Maybe your high-schooler can “spell-check” your latest report ~ you get to share some “What do you do for a living, Mom?”; she gets to work on all those Composition points that seem to go unnoticed in school assignments; you maybe get blinding insights on your writing; *and* you get to Work -plus- Have Family Time ~ all in the same couple of hours!

    Happy *Next* Spring! and Bright Blessings ~ Karen

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