I have been asked lately how many hours I work. Not sure why people ask, and for me, it’s always hard to pin that number down. I love my work, and especially in today’s blackberry/wired society, I’m always “on” 24/7. And in part because of that, I commingle my life – work, volunteering, activities – because they happen all the time. And as someone who likes to be a connector (for more on this read Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point), work doesn’t stop when I’m not at the office. And thinking about work, sharing what I’m doing and the projects I’m working on, doesn’t stop at the office door either. Neither do the other parts of my life: Scoutmaster, bandleader, Board member, father, etc. And I realize the disservice I would do if I tried to completely separate them! Where would business intelligence, new client or faculty leads, and information come from? Where would new opportunities to write, share and speak about what I have done or strongly believe in be?
A good example of that is a recent article in the Chicago Jewish News about the Boy Scout Troop where I serve as Scoutmaster. http://tinyurl.com/yezg6kn Of course I mentioned where I work – I’m proud of that, and want people to be able to reach me. Will that pay off? Who knows, but I do know it couldn’t hurt.
Telecommuting brings this point home even more, as work comes into all of our homes for perhaps longer periods of time than we were used to. Telecommuters work in their home offices and lives on a regular basis. Making that work for them is key to being a successful telecommuter. (I in fact find that I am busier when I telecommute than I am at the office, in part because I save phone calls, etc. for this time.)
So you may be wondering, “Howard I thought this was a learning blog?” Don’t you see that it is? By commingling or integrating our lives, we lead fuller lives and find more ways to grow in our professions. As you grow in one area, it’s bound to help you grow and learn in another. And that’s what life is about, a phrase I heard the late Studs Terkel once say: The goal of life is to grow until you go!
So what do you think – would commingling or integrating your life lead to new learning and new opportunities? Let me and other readers know. And at times like the holidays that are upon us, don’t forget what you do and who you are in whatever you do.