One of the best comedy ensemble tv shows of the last couple of decades is ‘The Office’, and one of the best characters of the show is the manager of the Dunder Mifflin Scranton branch, Michael Scott, played to perfection by Steve Carell. What makes Michael so awkwardly, cringingly hilarious to watch is his complete and total lack of self-awareness.
Sometimes there are those intense, out-of-the-ordinary work seasons. Something comes up that’s big, and urgent, and just has to be done. And so sometimes, when that happens, you just make it work. You work nights, and weekends, and you just get. it. done. It might be a few days, a few weeks, or maybe even a few months. And that’s fine. That happens.
The challenge, though, becomes re-installing balance once the big, urgent thing is, in fact, done. Making sure that this exception to your routines doesn’t become your new normal. Closing the emails and walking away. Resisting the temptation to tend to a few things over the next weekend too.
How do you make sure your exceptions don’t become your rule?
It’s shockingly easy how quickly and imperceptibly our ‘exceptions’ – in work/life balance, study disciplines, exercise routines, prioritisation of relationships, or anything else that matters – can become our rules. And we don’t even recognise it.