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Work-Life Bala(huh?)

Work-Life Bala(huh?)

I’ve never been a fan of the concept of work-life balance. So many hours of your life are centered on work so if you don’t like work, then your life is not balanced. Now, more than ever, I believe that work is life, and life is work – it is all blended.

A couple of weeks ago, my 7-year old daughter started online school for first grade. It is yet another change to our routine when we were just starting to settle in and be good with it. Now we have daily arguments about her closing the computer and going outside to get some sunshine and move her body. On particular argument ended in tears because she couldn’t finish her math page … and she was hungry (because she forgets to eat when she’s staring at devices).  She now sits feet away from me as I conduct my daily work meetings and she completes her activities. In between work discussions and emails, I help to figure out how to get her computer camera and microphone to work, listen to her recorded answers to questions, double check her answers, and configure her left-handed mouse so that she can be more efficient only to abandon the mouse all together so she can use the touch screen. The list goes on.

At bedtime tonight, my 4-year old said she is excited to get her computer and go to school next year.

This got me thinking: where are we going to be a year from now? What foundational changes are we experiencing now that we do not even realize will be an accepted societal norm in our future? I have heard economics experts suggest that we do not know what jobs our youth will be doing when they enter the job market because those jobs don’t yet exist. How does the present moment forecast what jobs will be in our future and what should we do to prepare? The skills they (and we, for that matter) need to have are critical thinking, problem solving, and adaptability. I guarantee our youth will be teaching us the ways of our future. We must open our hearts and minds to this.

I attended a webinar the other day that suggested the top disruptive trends we should prepare for include:

  • Big Data and Analytics
  • Agile Innovation
  • Crafting an innovation culture – championing agile innovation by increasing risk tolerance
  • Automation / Artificial Intelligence and People skills in the era of AI – how to strengthen Human ‘soft skills’ for the age of machines
  • Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion – expanding your E, D, and I efforts to include vendors and partners that represent diversity

There is so much we, as a global society need to do and continue to do. How are you setting up your people, processes, technology to not only adjust to these disruptors, but also be successful? Will you be caught off guard or will you be leaders in these areas?

Just like I don’t know what tomorrow’s homeschooling is going to look like, it’s ok that you don’t have it all figured out. Most individuals & organizations don’t, and yes, all of it can be overwhelming. But, it can also be exciting. Keeping the right perspective, participating in thought-leader roundtables and mastermind sessions will ensure you are not having to figure this out on your own.

Lastly, on a totally random note:

Did you know that there is scientific research that shows that if you give yourself a hug, your body doesn’t know the difference between you giving yourself a hug or receiving it from someone else. Did you know that hugs can lower your blood pressure and can improve your memory. It also helps to relieve stress. Hugging immediately reduces the amount of the stress hormone cortisol produced in our bodies. Hugs also make our bodies release tension and send calming messages to the brain. So, if you are feeling ‘strung out’ during this time, take a few minutes for self-care and hug yourself.JEN THOMPSONAPRIL 22, 2020

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