Monday, 24 November 2008

'Is it work or play?'

Tonight I'm going to the theatre to see an audience with the Author and Thinker Malcolm Gladwell. My wife checked this morning, 'you're working late tonight aren't you?'. And I replied, 'Well no - it's not a meeting I'm going to' but then I thought she is right - it's part of Work. I'm sure Malcolm will inspire and stimulate a whole load of thoughts that are very much in my 'work' arena. Sure, it might be entertaining and stimulate the 'play' side of me, but it is more relevant to what I do (as an Author and Thinker myself). So yes - it's work. As I write this, I am listening to Radio 4's 'Start The Week' (also featuring Malcolm Gladwell - he gets around); and I am also dealing with some emails.

But of course this begs a whole load of questions about what is work, and what is play. Yesterday - Sunday afternoon, as many of us do, I sat in the living room and answered some client emails. Some flashes of work in an otherwise 'day off'. In the old days - and I acknowledge this is still true for millions of people - 'Work' was a place you went to, an office with four walls that defined your work identity and was the boundary between work and play. When you were home, you weren't working. Now we work not just in offices, but also at home, and a ton of places in between. It's all mixed up.

So, as I shall argue in my new book 'Juggle', 'Work' is a mindset we dip in and out of constantly. Forget Work/Life balance - this is totally about work/life integration. Work and Play are not neatly segmented disciplines but totally mixed up elements. And the future is about mixing 'em all up...!

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