Global Leadership Speaker and Premier Work-Life Balance Speaker
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The firewall between your time and theirs. All About Balance, Part IV

I got an e-mail from an executive’s Blackberry yesterday, inquiring about me speaking at an event she was hosting. Get this: She was sending that e-mail while she was getting a root canal. I am not kidding. Janet Johnston now wins the Oscar for Best Performance by a Type-A Personality.

It gets better. In the middle of all that, she was summoned to talk to some state official for the routine meeting about her au pair. She had to get out of the oral surgeon’s chair, cotton in mouth, and make the appearance.


I love her. Love her energy, love her vibe, love her indomitable ways. But, Sister has got to chill. In this balance dilemma, it is so important that you build up the personal firewall that will protect you and your time. It is way too easy for work to intrude on personal and family time because a) companies are more demanding than ever b) it is so easy for work contact us to reach us at all times c) we often feel a need to demonstrate unlimited loyalty in the line of duty d) we get a little too wrapped up in what we are doing.

Knock it off, or you will go crazy. You have the right to reserve time for your self and your family. If you feel that pressure is on you to be available 24/7, talk to your boss about making some adjustments. Employers are sensitive to the balance issue these days because it is costing them money when employees leave.

Make it clear that your job is important to you and that you are committed to succeeding with the company. But, you need to have a firewall that gives you time with your family so that you don’t raise a bunch of drug addicts and juvenile delinquents, or wind up e-mailing people from your Blackberry when you are getting a root canal.

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