Category Archives: work-life balance

Patty McCord at Netflix — The Queen of the good good-byes and the future of work

This is an amazing story about the culture of Netflix and it’s clearly the future of (creative) work for better or worse. No set hours, unlimited time-off, etc. But “ruthless” (or simply more “real”/”honest”) in hiring/firing. Depends on your perspective! “A for effort” doesn’t count.
http://podcatch.com/pages/2233.html (19 minute podcast from NPR’s Planet Money)

NETFLIX: “We’re a _team_, not a family” (Slide 23 of 124)

This reminds me of Byron Katie in “Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life” (BTW, I really recommend the audio cds.. really great!) where in Chapter 6 (pages 84-85) she talks about a boss firing an assistant because she wasn’t doing a good job even though they had been working together for many many years.

“People usually fire themselves when they realize what’s going on.”

IOW, it’s best to be clear and truthful about what is happening with the company — a person’s performance or the lack of a need for them (because of a change in technology or because the company has pivoted in some way)

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Filed under contrarian, evidence-based, future, talent vs skill, technology, uberification, work, work-life balance

Choose *YOUR* type of success

“We’ve got one of the most ridiculous and paradoxical ideas at large in modern society – is this idea of work-life balance. In other words, you can be a success at work, and you can be a success at home with your family. … The bad news for listeners is that you can’t.” — ALAIN DE BOTTON

http://www.npr.org/2013/11/01/240782763/what-s-a-kinder-way-to-frame-success
and click the audio link (not the video)

or transcript here: http://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=240782763

“DE BOTTON: You know, there’s a problem because – well, you know, as anyone who’s ever tried to do anything well and wholeheartedly knows, there’s only so many hours in the day. So we have to make some choices. What do we want to be successful at, and as? Do we want to be a successful parent? Do we want to be successful financially or in terms of reputation, or in terms of changing the world or – you know, there are many, many criteria. And I think we’re not given enough of a guidance by our schools, families, the surrounding environment, at the idea that there’s going to have to be a choice around that word “successful.” So don’t get me wrong. I’m not against success. It’s very important to strive to be successful. But before you do that, I think it’s even more important to try and tighten up the definition of what success might be for you ’cause it’s unlikely to be something that will be, you know, a one-size-fits-all.”

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Filed under american dream, meaning of life, success, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School, time, work-life balance

Productivity tips… with research to back it up

Tips from Cal Newport
http://theweek.com/article/index/266737/how-to-be-the-most-productive-person-in-your-office-mdash-and-still-get-home-by-530-pm

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Filed under person: Cal Newport, play, productivity vs procrastination, work, work-life balance

In the mood…

“Learn to rush to your laptop and open it up. Open the file without asking yourself if you’re in the mood, without thinking about anything else. Just open the file: and then you’re safe. Once the words are on the screen, that becomes your distraction.”

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2014/09/the-simple-profound-act-of-perceiving-the-world/380659/?single_page=true

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Filed under motivation, quotes, work, work-life balance

Don’t quit your day job…

“I want to mention here that my latest favorite band, _____ , all have day jobs and don’t even try to make money from their music. And if we ever get an unconditional basic income, we will get to listen to millions of people who don’t have to compromise … ”

— Ran Prieur, Oct 17 2014 ranprieur.com

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Filed under art, creativity, person: Ran Prieur, welfare, work, work-life balance

Freedom is hard… especially when you aren’t accustomed to it

Good insights from Ran Prieur here:

“When you begin to get free, you will get depressed. It works like this: When you were three years old, if your parents weren’t too bad, you knew how to play spontaneously. Then you had to go to school, where everything you did was required. The worst thing is that even the fun activities, like singing songs and playing games, were commanded under threat of punishment. So even play got tied up in your mind with a control structure, and severed from the life inside you. If you were “rebellious”, you preserved the life inside you by connecting it to forbidden activities, which are usually forbidden for good reasons, and when your rebellion ended in suffering and failure, you figured the life inside you was not to be trusted. If you were “obedient”, you simply crushed the life inside you almost to death.

Freedom means you’re not punished for saying no. The most fundamental freedom is the freedom to do nothing. But when you get this freedom, after many years of activities that were forced, nothing is all you want to do. You might start projects that seem like the kind of thing you’re supposed to love doing, music or writing or art, and not finish because nobody is forcing you to finish and it’s not really what you want to do. It could take months, if you’re lucky, or more likely years, before you can build up the life inside you to an intensity where it can drive projects that you actually enjoy and finish, and then it will take more time before you build up enough skill that other people recognize your actions as valuable.”

RAN PRIEUR
http://ranprieur.com/essays/dropout.html

I think this also relates to why it an be hard for people to get away from TV, Facebook, buying stuff as noted here: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-real-reason-for-the-40-hour-workweek-2014-6
It’s not just time. 40 hours a week is not that much. (If one sleeps 8 hours a night, there are 112 awake hours per week, so if you are at work (plus commuting) say 45 hours a week, that leaves 67 hours!)
So there are more complicated reasons for our consumer society.

Society probably does not do people a favor by focusing on the idea that one must find meaning in life through your work. This idea seems very ingrained, at least here in the US. Because then people feel bad that they are not, and forget that they can look elsewhere.

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SEE RELATED:
– The Most Basic Freedom is the Freedom to Quit, by Peter Gray
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/freedom-learn/201304/the-most-basic-freedom-is-freedom-quit

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Filed under consumer society, meaning of life, work-life balance

Remembering how to play as an adult

Two quotes about people reconnecting with what they like to do by thinking about what they liked to do when they were kids and PLAYED!

“Try to remember the way you saw the world when you were a little kid, and practice it. This will help with the guilt, since kids never feel guilty about playing, and it will also keep you from getting too spiritually stagnant.”
— Ran Prieur
http://ranprieur.com/advice.html

“So one of the things I wanted to do [after stopping work at google] was think about what I liked to do when I was little and to do more of that. I had heard somewhere from someone that that’s a good way to figure out what you like and what you are good at. So, I spent more time doing things that I liked to do a long time ago.”
— Ellen Huerta Interview: Why I Left Google

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Filed under ageism, freedom, kids -- freedom and responsibility, meaning of life, play, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School, work-life balance