Juggle: Rethink Work-Reclaim Your Life
I read Ian Sanders’ book, “Juggle-Rethink Work Reclaim your Life,” on a flight from Philadelphia to Denver. Previous to Ian’s book, I’d been reading about work-life balance. With that in mind, consider the basic premise of “Juggle.”
“And forget about Work/Life Balance, it’s more Work/Play Integration, it’s about mixing it all up.”
I enjoy surprises so I kept reading and I’m glad I did. Ian advocates for rich life in the present, not in the future. He dares to say the truth that “life = work.” He’s against compartmentalized living and for integrated living. It may sound bizarre to you and if it does I suggest you read the book.
Juggle has four parts. Part 1-Rethink work: Bust some myths. For example, success is about doing one thing and work is done in an office. Part 2-Redsign your life: Think Juggle. Topics include, Think constant reinvention and be authentic.
The last two parts teach you how to become a juggler. Part 3-How to do it all: Juggle Tactics. Among many other things, Ian explains how to get connected and how to get unplugged. Finally, Part 4-How to have it all: Juggle Lifestyle. You’ll read about retiring retirement and the work you = the real you.
Some favorite quotes:
– The reality of career development is that it tends to be more organic than strategic.
– Swap power for choice and you’ll have greater job satisfaction.
– What is the value of a perfectionist who doesn’t ever finish a project …
– Remember, you’re not going to have those eureka moments at your desk.
– Whatever your retirement goals, start incorporating them into your life now.
In some places “Juggle” is obvious, in others it’s inspiring. It helped me think about my real desires in life.
Two thumbs up.
Juggling starts from comparing yourself from existing situation, opportunity,scope and potential. It is the starting point of inventing yourself. when the current path does not lead to our goal or priority, juggling starts.In the process, we know our real worth. Work-life balance is also a juggling process and we try to seek what we want. But without action, juggling goes waste. So, to live as per our terms, we have to take action. And all these things are possible only when we are real and authentic. You have to disconnect that discourages your purpose and decreases the quality of work-life balance. And you have to connect with what interests you. Present life is actual life, future is uncertain because you can’t control time and unpredictable situation. There comes our decision, attitude, moral courage between juggling and desires. In absence of moral courage, juggling may result into negative work-life balance because the base for such action is not morality. On the other hand, decision based on moral dimension, will result into desired and balanced work – life balance.
A variation on the ‘juggle’ is to think of each day as an energy credit exchange.
Each day, we wake up and are ‘given’ XX amount of energy credits, let’s say 20. How to spend them?
“Okay, gotta use 12 credits for work today (for the full work breakdown structure, which is another blog) and 1 credit for the long drive to work. What am I getting back from work…nada, ouch! 2 credits, okay, can work with that. I got some positive feedback from my boss and also had a great interaction with the person I am mentoring, so, yeah, 2, maybe 3.
Now, let’s see 3 credits, no, 4 for my significant other and I get 5 back (I am a little more needy right now), 3 for the kids and I get 1 back. (Teens take more!)
Need 4 to do the chores, get the groceries, put up with traffic, etc.; don’t get much back, cept 1 for food. Gotta pay bills, lose 2 credits and a telephone solicitor just sucked 1 credit from me, ouch. Another phone call from mother-in-law, drop 2 more credits, need to work on that one.
Getting toward the end of the day, what energy credits do I have left to spend on me???? None! Aww! I was going to go recreate…RE-CREATE myself and think about my vacation and retirement…okay maybe tomorrow I can if I can just save a couple of credits…time to sleep.”
Lather, rinse, repeat!
In the early 1990s, a long time friend of mine bought me a gift. On the cover of the box were the words “More Balls Than Most.” Inside the box was the instruction booklet entitled, “A Short Course in Life Enhancement – The Joy of Juggling” and, of course, three leather beanbag balls, about the size of tennis balls, with red, yellow, green and blue strips.
I received this gift at a very pivotal moment in my life, both professionally and personally. The gift opened my eyes to the struggle I was having “juggling” my work life with my personal life.
The instruction booklet is written in a fashion that uses the metaphor of learning how to juggle three balls and applying this to juggling your life. This unusual gift had a profound impact on my career in that it caused me to begin considering the use of systems thinking to deal with complexity at work. At the same time, it allowed me to re-focus on what is important in life, since I was just recovering from cancer.
Being overly right brained and living in a left brain world, I found that in learning how to juggle, if I allowed my right brain to control the juggling, I was able to juggle longer. When I used my left brain to analytically control the juggling, invariably one of the balls hit the floor with a thud.
My advice, in addition to reading Ian Sanders book, is learn how to juggle three balls and watch it transform your life.
Thanks for the review Dan, and I loved reading the comments and contributions here. Doc, I like your notion of ‘energy credits’, that’s an interesting idea, and one I hadn’t heard before. Sure, that resonates with me. As we mix work and play, it’s about considering the energies and effort required across our entire life portfolio. Jim, loved your tale of juggling: I must confess, i have yet to master the skill myself. I’ll take your advice and try again 🙂
Very thoughtful article. For a fresh take on building strong careers and families, check out Getting to 50/50 — on how men and women share roles with all sorts of good results — including a healthier sex life. The book also debunks some common myths that cause many moms to back away from their jobs. Authors Sharon Meers (a Goldman MD now in tech) and Joanna Strober (a private equity exec) share their often funny tales of combining work and family. Definitely a book worth checking out. http://www.gettingto5050.blogspot.com