In search of the ultimate work-life balance

Tesco delivery van
Turns out there’s more to work-life balance than getting your shopping delivered

When we first heard about “MonkChat” we naturally assumed it was a hip new Valley-based startup aimed at disrupting the IMing space. Nope, turns out it’s actually chatting to some monks. So of course, we’re going to do it this coming week.

We’re also going to visit a temple, walk around the market every day to find our meals, and have coffee with some of the cool people we’ve been meeting.

It’s not like we couldn’t have done these things (minus the monks) in London: London has markets, and tourist attractions, and we have friends there. Yet because it’s our home town and we take it all for granted, for our four months there we slipped into our default mode of just working all hours. We didn’t see our friends as much as we’d have liked, we evangelised about the efficiency of our weekly Sainsbury’s deliveries, and we didn’t make an effort to go see anything new.

And y’know what? Those were the most totally uninspired months we’ve had in ages – and as a result, our productivity slipped. So now we’re searching for a bit more work-life balance.

Yep, we’ve been in Thailand all of eight days and we’re already going all pseudo-Buddhist on you. But not just because we’re delirious after too many massages: we’ve found that easing off the “work” in favour of the “life” means that the time we do spend working sees the ideas flowing more readily than they did – which is good for us and for our clients. Instead of working all bloody day at low intensity, we’re using ideas like the pomodoro technique to fit just as much productive work into a shorter time.

Of course, it’s easier to focus on life, not work, when there’s so much novel stuff going on all around us – including cats riding on mopeds, street vendors peddling sex toys, and a language that encourages you to say “crap” in every sentence (it’s a politeness thing). But work-life balance doesn’t require travel by any means – just look at our buddy Carla, who’s always making the time to do new and fun things in her home town despite having a job and doing a startup on the side.

All in all, it’s a great reminder that while we’re congratulating ourselves on having everything sussed, there’s a good chance we’re way further from being enlightened than we think we are. We think the monks would approve of that attitude.

Got anything you want us to ask a monk? Reply and let us know!