Balancing act: Balance time to work with time to play

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 8 2013 8:30 a.m. MDT

A couple of weeks ago, I was assigned to serve as interim manager for an additional team at work. This team's manager left the company about five months ago and my boss has worked with them since then. However, with his ultra-busy schedule, that had become increasingly difficult, so I volunteered to help.

As I met with the team members in groups and individually over the last few days, I was struck by how much fun they have together. They're a self-motivated bunch, and they work hard to direct the development of excellent projects and meet deadlines. But they seem to have a great time while they're doing it.

In that way, they're much like the team I've managed for the last couple of years. Again, it's made up of smart, talented people who work their tails off, but who also genuinely enjoy each other and like to have fun while they work.

Several times during the last week, I found myself reassuring the team for which I've been given interim responsibility that I also believe work should be fun. Usually I would say something like, "We spend lots of time in this office, so we might as well enjoy it."

I sometimes think I do a better job of following my own advice at work than I do at home.

But if recognition of one's troublesome tendencies is the first step toward overcoming them, then I guess I'm on the right path.

I'm sure I'll always be a task-oriented person — it's a big part of my personality, and it's helped me succeed in many areas of life. But I've got plenty of examples around me of people who know how and when to put a project down for a few minutes to have some fun. I'll try harder to follow their lead in the weeks and months to come.

After all, those clothes that need to be folded won't be damaged if I ignore them for a few minutes. But time for family fun is fleeting, and I don't want to miss those joyful moments of playing with dominoes on the living room floor.

Email your comments to kratzbalancingact@gmail.com or post them online at deseretnews.com. Follow me on Twitter at gkratzbalancing or on Facebook on my journalist page.

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