July 7, 2011 at 2:36 PM

Coordinating Our Work And Personal Lives While Keeping Our Sanity

"Most folks would say that we all HAVE to work. We need the money. True. I would add that we WANT to work."

By Polly White

Santa Fe Business Musings

Polly White is a local business owner, active community member and astronomy geek.

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Most folks would say that we all HAVE  to work. We need the money. True. I would add that we WANT to work. We like it. It’s human nature to want that productive focus in our lives. I am a big believer that your work should be fun. If it’s not fun, don’t do it. I love my job running Santa Fe Business Resources. Starting my own company was the best decision I ever made.

But, wow, is it a time-sucker. I would really love to have two of me. One of me would be here in the office, and be having a great time working with all these awesome local businesses and earning some income, and another of me would be enjoying a great personal life with my family, cultivating friendships, sipping champagne, playing with my pets, gardening, hiking, stargazing, traveling, etc. I think I could deal with schizophrenic side effects this might cause.  There are good shrinks in this town. The money thing is where this idea gets tricky. The personal me would probably be spending it faster than the working me would earn it.

Ok~I’ll come out of my fantasy world now and step back into the glaring sunlight of the work/personal life balance. Trying to coordinate how this plays out is a real challenge, even for the best of us.

Let’s look at a couple of examples of other Santa Feans and see how they do it:

Someone with a low/middle-income job, will work a basic 35-40 hours per week and have enough personal time to stay sane, but probably not enough money to have any luxuries besides the luxury of living here in our fair city. In order to improve their lifestyle, they either increase their hours at the first job or get a second job. Lots of Santa Feans do this.

But wait. Hear that clunking sound???

That’s the sound of things falling off the bottom of the priority list.

Things don’t necessarily improve once you increase your hours, get that higher paying job, or second job. Many higher paying jobs require 50-65 hour weeks. And having two part-time jobs is seriously a false economy. Then there’s no overtime pay for working over 40 hours. Any increase in working hours means taking time away from personal life; creating an argument against that concept of improving your lifestyle by earning more money. Someone with a higher-paying job will see their net income rise, but they’re working so many more hours, they don’t have the time or energy to spend on things on that priority list. I definitely know Santa Feans living this life.

Time, Energy, and Money:

We always have one.

Sometimes we have two.

Seems like we never have all three…….

Sure, we want to have it all. We want the higher pay with enough time off and energy to enjoy it.

So my advice to you employed readers out there:

Think ahead. Really plan this out and don’t let your life get so out of balance that you hear that clunking sound.

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