The Quaint Notion of Work-Life Balance: #TChat Preview

I was at a meeting the other day and this person who was carrying a laptop bumped into me — checking her email, she wasn’t looking where she was going. The part that sticks with me is that she wasn’t really phased. No, she laughed it off as a by-product of multitasking. Welcome to the weird world of work, where we’re actually getting less done — and at a lower level of quality — by trying to do everything at once, by being connected 24/7 through devices and social media.

What would happen if you slowed the pace 10 percent? Would your job be in jeopardy if you didn’t read email after 8 pm? Would your family and friends not talk to you if you didn’t answer texts, tweets and emails immediately? Probably not, in fact, hyper-connectivity may be making us less mentally and emotionally available to important people in our life.

I’m as guilty as the next person of paying more attention to my smartphone at times when people are sitting across the desk from me, so I decided we should delve into the topic of slowing down, personally and professionally, on this week’s #TChat Radio and #TChat Twitter. Maybe it’s possible to do a better job in less time if we learn how to disconnect a bit. Could it be less screen time will help us better manage our time and improve our ability to prioritize, while boosting productivity? It’s worth a spirited discussion, one in which we’ll even look at how to use technology to help us slow down — as counter-intuitive as that might sound.

Before you sign off for the day (yeah, right!), here are this week’s questions:

Q1: How do you track competing priorities in today’s social world? Is it helping or hurting your ability to prioritize tasks and build deeper relationships?

Q2: What kind of HR Tech could you not live without, and how has it changed relationship building and productivity for you?

Q3: Hyperconnectivity is expected for those communicating in the world of work. How do you separate the signal/noise?

Q4: Has a business relationship, potential recruit ever suffered because you responded too quickly/slowly, without enough data? How?

Q5: What are the steps you use to deepen, improve your relationships in today’s world of work?

Of course, #TChat takes place every week on Twitter, and this week there’s special dispensation for being online during after-work hours (a quaint concept in today’s world). So join us Tuesday, Dec. 4, at 7:30pm ET (6:30pm CT, 5:30pm MT, 4:30pm PT, or wherever you are) for #TChat Radio, and Wednesday, Dec. 5, at 7 pm ET for #TChat. As a community we’ll tackle the difficult task of how to balance the world of work and personal life more effectively, and also discuss when technology helps and when it hinders.

Joining us to weigh in this subject near and dear to their hearts will be Cali Williams Yost (@caliyost), CEO of Flex + Strategy Group (parent company of Work + Life Fit Inc.), and Judy Martin (@judymartin8), founder of and a contributor to Forbes, NPR and other large news media outlets.  Be connected and strive for balance in all areas of your life. This ain’t easy. Chat soon!

Image credit: Erix! via Flickr