Oh, Koda–

‍I’ve always been a workaholic, pouring my heart and soul into my career. I take my work so seriously that my friends often joke I have a permanent ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign hanging over my head.

But here’s the thing: I recently had a hilarious wake-up call that made me question my relentless pace. Picture this: I was so engrossed in a project that I accidentally wore mismatched shoes to a high-stakes client meeting. Yes, you read that right, I strutted my stuff in a fancy business suit paired with one black shoe and one navy blue shoe. Talk about making an impression!

Now, amidst the laughter (and subsequent embarrassment), I realized that perhaps I’ve been neglecting an essential part of life: everything that isn’t work. I’ve heard about this mystical concept called work-life balance, but it always felt like an elusive thing just out of reach.

So, here I am, wondering if it’s time to trade in my serious workaholic badge for a more adventurous one. Can I actually give myself permission to take a vacation without feeling guilty?

I’m ready to find a way to make work, and personal happiness coexist without feeling like I’m falling down the corporate ladder rung by rung. Any tips, advice, or tales of your own mismatched shoe moments would be greatly appreciated!


Workaholic in Mismatched Shoes

Dear Mismatch,

It does seem like you have a bit of a mismatch going on! But, it seems like the mismatch goes deeper than your shoes.

At least you didn’t claim wearing two colors of shoes was a new fashion statement! You’ve got a head start in solving this problem since you’ve acknowledged it as such.

You sound like a person from decades past trying to find that ever-elusive work-life balance. This work-life balance idea is a joke driven by bad corporate management trying to raise the importance of work to be as much as our health or our children’s milestones and important events. This miscalculation led to burnout, lousy health outcomes, broken families, and ultimately lower productivity than was possible.

Instead, Koda proposes that you ditch searching for work-life balance since you’re likely to never find it, and if you do, it will vanish at the next work or personal crisis. We suggest seeking work-life flow as a natural rhythm in your life. Your work is integrated into your life, and you can bring your whole self into your work.

Your work can not and must not cause life failures in today’s world. You can and should maximize your career as part of the whole of your life. See work as something integrated into your life instead seeing work as something that is the equal opposite of your actual life. Living this way requires you to take time away from work.

Let’s consider the ROI to your career if you were to take a vacation. If you are going to travel, you will need to plan your trip, meet new people, see new places, and get uncomfortable with different environments. You may need to learn to appreciate new languages, types of people, or ways to travel. All of this might happen within 5-10 days off work. Sure, that’s a significant time away that must be accounted for, but all of these benefits (not to mention the rest!) build your ability to perform, manage, and lead well.

Likewise, suppose you decide to be active in hobbies. In that case, these activities awaken underutilized portions of your brain that increase focus, improve memory, lower errors, and allow for risk in game planning.

While vacationing is known to be a “getaway” that allows for reduced stress, you will be amazed at how much your performance and value will increase by bringing fun, challenging, and entertaining activities into your regular flow.

‍Cheering you on as you find work-life flow!


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