What Happened To Work/Life Balance?



Steve Perkins


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“Managing oneself demands that each knowledge worker think and behave like a CEO.”

-Peter Drucker, Managing Oneself

Have you ever thought like this?

This is the shift from manual workers who do as they are told –> knowledge workers who have to decide HOW to work.

It’s one of the main reasons for the many workplaces and work-life problems today. The work world has drastically changed, but the design of work hasn’t kept up.

Pioneers like Ricardo Semler, Chris Rufer, and Tony Hsieh understood this shift years ago and took action. Many companies were starting to realize the shift before the pandemic. But the last couple of years have shown the masses that there really are different ways of working.

It’s interesting to me that Peter Drucker (among others) wrote things like this many years before our current experience of remote work:

“[The shift] challenges social structure. Every existing society, even the most individualistic one, takes two things for granted, if only subconsciously: that organizations outlive workers, and that most people stay put. But today the opposite is true. Knowledge workers outlive organizations, and they are mobile. The need to manage oneself is therefore creating a revolution in human affairs.”

And I would add that this is also the reason Life and Leadership Coaching is one of the fastest-growing industries right now. Because we need to learn how to work in knowledge jobs and whitespace problems that don’t have a clear instruction manual.

We need new systems.

Liz Wiseman said it this way in her book, Multipliers: “The 20th century was maximizing manual work productivity; the 21st century needs to do the same for knowledge work.”

As a coach, I believe one of the first and most primary shifts we can make to better ourselves and our work is to shift from frantic email/meetings, to defined work-blocks with focus.

Of course, this also requires clear vision and goals, which many organizations and individuals find themselves lacking. But either way, this is why I developed The Greenhouse Method, which boils the ocean of productivity techniques and practices into a simple repeatable system:

  • Craft Your Vision
  • Set Your Goals & Intentions
  • Plan Your Main Thing with a Weekly Rhythm

There are some techniques to do the steps well, but the secret lies in consistency.

These steps are the building blocks of the Greenhouse Membership community, where intentional people are figuring out what’s next and focusing on what matters most. And I guide everyone through the process week after week.

If you’ve been needing some structure or motivation, you can try it for free here, or just pass on these thoughts to someone who would appreciate it. Cheers!

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