I wouldn’t want to work on anything I didn’t want to take over my life.
— Paul Graham, A Project of One’s Own
I don’t want to optimize for work, and I don’t want to optimize for family time. I want to optimize for life. I get one life and I don’t want to look back at 90 yelling I regret doing or not doing something. I always try to keep that end in mind. So I try to live life backwards in the sense of, where do I really want to go and how do I get there?
— Shane Parish, AMA on Farnam Street Learning Community (January 2020)
A really good TED talk by Nigel Marsh about Work-life balance: “How to make work-life balance work”. (10 minutes, subtitles in different languages.)
He shares four observations:
- certain job and career choices are fundamentally incompatible with being meaningfully engaged on a day-to-day basis with a young family.
If you don’t design your life, someone else will design it for you, and you may just not like their idea of balance.
We need to elongate the time frame upon which we judge the balance in our life. A day is too short; “after I retire” is too long. There’s got to be a middle way.
Small things matter. (…) With the smallest investment in the right places, you can radically transform the quality of your relationships and the quality of your life. (…) if enough people do it, we can change society’s definition of success away from the moronically simplistic notion that the person with the most money when he dies wins, to a more thoughtful and balanced definition of what a life well lived looks like.