Dominic Orr, CEO of Aruba Networks, wrestles with the definition of work-life balance for people who are deeply engaged by their work. Orr recognizes that it can be difficult to separate work and life but that we must still make room for relationships that matter to us and ultimately this comes down to carefully managing and allocating our time and energy.
So how do you manage your work-life balance when you're trying to go so quickly and accomplish so much? And has that changed? Has it changed over time? First of all, I want to have a disclaimer. I'm not a perfect example of this work-life balance thing. And second of all, I really believe that in a lot of situations, the work-life balance thing is not the right concept to use. The reason is, the term work-life balance implies that there is this thing called work, there's this thing called life. But I'm here sitting, talking to you and so on. Is it work, is it life? I hope not dead. I feel that this is work and life too. So my point is, there are people who take -- I'm sure there are, across the world, that take the x number of hours per week that they have to work, is really for the substantial benefit, for them to support their hobbies and their sustenance, and so on, as a human being, as a family. So if you really look at it that way, there is a section of your day that is dedicated to creating take-home resources. And then the other part of the day is to consume the resources. Then you have the balance, right? But in our world, we have all these buzz words, virtualization, miniaturization, globalization, mobility and so on. It's very hard for people who have passion about what they're doing, to define what is life, what is work. I think they're going to be all mashed up. I don't have the privilege to observe somebody like Picasso, how they work. I doubt very much it's, "Oh, 10 o'clock. So I'm going to have to go to work." That's not painting, right? And then, "Oh, 6 o'clock. I have to hit the pub." So when people really are inspired, and have a passion for the work, they carry the work with them. The issue is: don't let technology drag you down in the sense that it's okay to come up with an idea while you're driving, or while you're showering and so on. But don't let that Blackberry distract you every five seconds, so you cannot enjoy conversation with your kids, or with your significant other or whatever. So I would advocate the concept of a balance of ... I don't know what this thing's called ... that you keep a balance of mind share and a sort of control of time management. I think time management is getting more and more important. And if you look at all the brilliant people that succeed in the business world, they have the incredible faculty of mind power and the ability to balance and control resources, meaning energy, time and so on.