Staying ahead and Work/Life Balance

A quick entry as this came across my IM while on a conference call: of interest from Fortune, an article on “How I Work” in which “a dozen super-achievers tell how they stay ahead in the fast lane.” (note 20110126: the article also available here as the original link appears to be broken.)

…the following 12 interviews are by no means a litany of complaints. These people, ranging from jazz maestro Wynton Marsalis to jurist Richard Posner to Goldman’s CEO, Hank Paulson, love what they do.

The challenge is to continue to do it well, when the responsibilities and complexities keep increasing. One common answer is to get up early — real early. Note to MBA students: If you can’t rise at dawn, you might just reconsider your goal of making it as a CEO.

At the office, we spend cycles on thinking about how to enable work/life balance, important when you consider we generally spend more waking hours at work and with other employees at the office than with our own familes. There’s a good aggregation article on the work essentials for work/life balance.

For me, I find that Snarf from MS Research is a good way to deal with the flow of emails I get on a daily basis (after rules process out all the mail lists): on a good/bad day (you pick), I see 200+ mails in my in box.

Of note: one manager I know is so serious about work/life balance that he all but forbids his team from sending emails late into the night (sure, there are exceptions to the rule). But he is able to live within the boundaries by responding to mail ofline after the family goes to bed and then sync’ing mail the next morning at the office.

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4 replies on “Staying ahead and Work/Life Balance”

If you’re one of those people who has hundreds or thousands of email messages in your inbox, and you feel paralyzed by the overwhelming volume of mail and how to prioritize & manage it, then I would suggest that you read "Take Back Your Life" (

It’s not a fluff "how to use Outlook" book; it’s about how to capture and prioritize all the things that you need to do, and how to use Outlook to assist you in tracking the things you need to do.

who am i?

Nothing brilliant by stereotypical terms!

I am a wife, I am a mom, I am an individual, I have a career, i have a life that i can either choose to be frustrated with or choose to live and define solutions that work.  My work life-balance is a daily subconscious decision that is prioritized and guided by my commitment to my husband, son, and career.  Am I ahead, that is a subjective judgement, do i have work/life balance, again, that is a subjective judgement, Am I ahead and have I achieved work/life balance –  YES!  Do I still struggle with wanting more – YES, I am human.  Do i expect someone or some corporation to fix that for me – NO, it’s a shared responsibility between me, company guiding principles, manager, and peers, most of which i choose!!

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