Of Work-Life Balance

I read a good argument in a NYTimes opinion piece by Laura Vanderkam in favor of flexible work hours.

The article contains a couple of interviews with people who adjusted to work with flexibility. Here’s the part that resonates with me:

I hope we can begin to understand that, for many, work is a collection of tasks, not a collection of hours in a certain place. And time is a finite resource, but one that cannot always be neatly divided into “work time” and “free time.” Taking time for yourself during the work day doesn’t make you lazy, and working a bit on vacation doesn’t make you a workaholic. Dispensing with strict time boundaries should also mean ditching the guilt you might feel for either.

In org-mode, I measure time by clocking in and out of tasks. These can take days, weeks, or months. Other projects repeat and become routines. I don’t particularly care “when” these hours take place. The nature of the job, not to mention COVID-19, have long deemed most of the “where” irrelevant. I often work outside my dedicated work hours, sometimes as early as 5 in the morning or as late as 9 in the evening. The flip side of this is taking long lunch breaks or leave the office a bit early. It goes both ways.

One of my good work “hacks” are quick naps, from 10 minutes to about half an hour. In return, these breaks allow me to be alert and productive at work, often working beyond the minimal requirements of a certain task. I enjoy what I do, so what’s the big deal?


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