What I learnt this week: Everything worth fighting for unbalances your life #WILTW

This is the 97th #WILTW

I exist in an almost perpetual cycle of deadline pressure and increasing clinical responsibilities, followed by a more quiescent period before the cycle starts again. My capacity fluctuates like an accordion – almost snapping at the extremes and then pulling back together for a brief period of respite before being stretched again. Burnout ensues when this cycle goes on unchecked without any breaks or holidays.

A resolution for 2016 was to break the cycle without impacting on my productivity. One promise I made myself was that I wasn’t allowed to start on new tasks unless I dropped an old one. I have (nearly) achieved this. The goal, amongst others, was to maintain this  elusive thing called a good work-life balance.


And then I read this by Ian Wacogne. It is a great perspective on the flaws of trying to have both a work AND life balance as if they were separate things. I quote:

If I were not a paediatrician or an editor I would be a different sort of husband and father – but not necessarily a better, kinder or happier one

The blog finishes with a link to the video below. I don’t completely buy the argument presented here. We are designed to multi-task so apparently doing lots of things semi-well is better suited to our psyche than just concentrating on one.

There is also a intimation that ‘staying at home’ is consistent with just doing one task and might not be that demanding. A busy Sunday night in the emergency department is not as challenging as entertaining two children for 8 hours I assure you.

But the video did touch a nerve

Everything worth fighting for unbalances your life

I do think this is a great maxim. I fight to ensure patients receive the best possible care, I fight to develop my research ideas into tangible outcomes and I fight to ensure my family feel loved and protected. Sadly I am pretty sure I am a rubbish ninja life warrior. There are some fights I’m don’t see coming and every so often one aspect of life beats me.

But that doesn’t stop it being worth fighting for. So maybe it is isn’t the balance that is important it is just making sure you always get up when you are knocked off the beam.

What did you learn this week? #WILTW

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