Work Life Balance – How are YOU doing?

Last year, my husband and I made a life altering decision to homeschool our two youngest children aged 4 and 3 (at the time). Our daughter was about to complete a private Pre-Kindergarten program and our three year old son was at the same private school for preschool. We loved the school and I loved my job training litigation support professionals here in Atlanta. However, we felt like the high cost of tuition for private school was insane considering how young our kids were and even though we both had tremendous flexibility with our work, we asked ourselves: are we doing a good enough job with “work / life balance?” To make the drastic change to homeschool meant that I would quit my job and work on a contract / consulting basis. To date, this has worked out well because I only take on work that doesn’t interfere with our homeschool schedule and I am enjoying spending so much simple day to day quality time with my children. Our family now has memberships at every museum in Atlanta. 🙂 But this isn’t a post about homeschooling, although I’m sure I will teach them the finer points of project management by the 2nd grade. This is a post to discuss how we are all balancing our life outside of litigation support and electronic discovery with our passion for being the best e-discovery project managers on the planet.

When I worked on a litigation support team in a law firm, I was still single. No husband. No kids. And sometimes, no life. I had a gym membership (see the video for why that’s not enough). I went to happy hour with colleagues. I went to trials in exotic locations (joke) for months at a time… just long enough to forget how to cook my own meals, wash my own clothes and sleep longer than 4 hours at a time. I told myself that I would take vacations every three months to maintain my sanity… as you know intense litigation can be quite overwhelming at times. I was very strict about my vacations (well, sort of… still looked at my blackberry if there was service). I would visit family around the country, go skiing, visit the Carribean and Mexico or take a cruise. But now as I look back, I wonder if one could really call that balanced. By the time I’d left the law firm environment for a new life in sales and consulting, I didn’t have much to show for it personally except for a shiny new condo in “hip” midtown Atlanta. You’ve probably guessed by now that I met my husband post law firm. 😉

I’m no expert at work/life balance. So I’m asking you – what do you do? How are you doing it?

I recently watched the video below on the topic and would love your thoughts on how to address this as an e-discovery project manager.

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About lstrainer

I've been in the litigation support industry for almost 16 years and have a passion for training. Teaching litigation support professionals how to fish for themselves is my primary objective.

One thought on “Work Life Balance – How are YOU doing?

  1. My experience has been that when my employer implements work/life balance programs, I acutally get less rest and work more because they’ve provided technology to allow me to work from any where at any time.

    Nigel’s perspective is much more at the core of the issue which each person must sort out for themselves, “What am I going to do to be a whole, real person with more dimensions than my work alone.”

    For some people, their work and their purpose in life are tightly coupled; so working constantly might make sense for them. For others, their work provides for their purpose. For others still, their work has become their life.

    So, it seems to me that this is a very personal choice that must be made not assumed; and ultimately protected.

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