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Off Balance: Getting Beyond the Work-Life Balance Myth to Personal and Professional Satisfaction Audible – Unabridged

4.6 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audible Audio Edition
  • Listening Length: 3 hours and 53 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • Audible.com Release Date: September 15, 2011
  • Whispersync for Voice: Ready
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005N3SFIS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank:

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Thomas M. Loarie VINE VOICE on September 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Over the past twenty-five years, there has been substantial increase in burnout due to overwork and increased stress. Workplace violence, absenteeism, and rising workers' compensation claims are used as evidence of an unhealthy work life balance. A Center for Work-Life Policy (CWLP), a "think tank," has even been created to study and research the problem of work-life balance. In one study, they found "seventy percent of US respondents and eighty-one percent of global respondents say their jobs are affecting their health."

In "Off Balance," best selling author and national acclaimed speaker, Matthew Kelly, turns the subject upside down (not just off balance) and reframes the discussion with challenging questions about the role that work plays in our life and why we should discard the theme "work-life balance" in favor of "work-life effectiveness" which results in what we all seek, the experience of satisfaction.

The popular press has conditioned us to think about "work-life balance" in a self-defeating way as they have compartmentalized work and life, setting them against one another...equating "balance" to working less. These cannot be separated.

Work is a necessary part of life and, despite popular efforts to do so, it cannot be left to stand by itself. Reality has taught us that what happens at home will affect us at work (a new baby, deaths, divorce) and what happens at work will affect us at home (promotion, termination, plant closures). Rather, a better approach would be integrating the two... and achieving "work-life effectiveness."

Kelly found that "If you ask people why they want work-life balance, they talk about things that have little or nothing to do with balance.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A lot of people seem to really like this book. But it reads like one long infomercial or motivational speech. He makes many outrageous claims, none of which are footnoted. For example, the fall of all civilizations is individualism. (Really, not say war, or disease of famine?) Or, 75% of the time, we eat even though we are not hungry. (Gee, I only eat when I hungry, I must be the odd one.)

Finally, he talks about how even if you are working 85 hours a week, if you are satisfied in with your job, then it won't be bad at all. I suppose I should just expect my spouse to take care everything while I'm gone working all of the time? Who will cook, clean, and get the million other things that need to be done while I put in these 15-hour days.

Also, if you are unhappy with your work-life balance it is your fault. It is not the fact that we have lousy maternity leave laws, FMLA laws, etc.

Even though it is a very short book and I do agree with some of what he says, I couldn't get through it. In a book I expect some real sources of facts (such as studies or science or something). This is just one guy going on and on about his own (unsupported) opinions. It kind of reminds me of listening to a relative go on and on with no real point.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is a powerful indictment of a myth:that happiness comes from trying to balance the personal with the professional. Floyd demolishes this idea, correctly noting that work and personal are twisted together like a pretzel. He goes further though and frames the question differently:how can be have satisfaction, not how can we have balance. He argues that satisfaction (not to be confused with getting what you want) comes through committment to your priorities. This leads you to be the very best possible version of yourself. The book gives exercises in how to do so, and is nice and short.
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Format: Hardcover
The work-life balance is an issue that has fascinated me for decades. Hence my interest in this book in which Matthew Kelly claims that, in fact, the work-life balance is a "myth" that people must "get beyond" to achieve their personal and professional satisfaction. As he observes in the Introduction, "While the work-life balance discussion was introduced with the very best if intentions - namely, to help people deal with mounting pressures surrounding both personal and professional life in the modern world - in many ways the idea never had a chance because the term itself was fatally flawed." Kelly believes that individual destiny and organizational destiny are "intertwined." Yes, you can consider work life from personal life separately but they cannot be separated. What to do? Kelley wrote this book in response to that question.

These are a few of several dozen key points that caught my eye:

"I have come to the conclusion that people don't really need or want balance." Rather, they need and want "a satisfying experience of life." (Page x)

"The crisis of the modern world is a crisis of ideas. Ideas shape our lives and the world. Thought determines action. It would not be too soon for us to learn that ideas have very real consequences." (19)

"If it is to be sustained, our satisfaction has to be something that transcends external circumstances. It cannot be something that we put in the hands of things that are completely beyond our control." (47)

"Continuous change is now an accepted part of life and business. The waves of change are constantly crashing on the shore of our lives, but it is a well-defined value structure that allows us to thrive in the midst of the change. It us the unchanging that allows us to make sense of the change.
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