Ruth Bader Ginsburg on work/life balance
In the first 2 minutes of this video, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, also known as the Boss by her colleagues, tells stories of how her young daughter helped her get a better sense of what matters.
The video is part of a bigger article on issues of women's rights, paternity leave, and "having it all," a theme that comes up several times. Below is a short excerpt.
It’s easy to assume that celebrated figures like the Boss possess superhuman levels of discipline. But an insight one gains working at a place like the Supreme Court is that we all face similar constraints on our time, energy, and intellectual bandwidth. During my year at the Court, I sought to understand how the Boss managed to successfully balance her family and career.
Most good advice is simple and boring
We often read about what is good for us, nod our heads, and go back to what we usually do. Why is that? The advice seems banal, almost cliche, and we shrug our shoulders, telling ourselves that it's obvious. "Take breaks." Duh.
It's all a cover-up for the real reason why we shake it off and move on. Change is difficult for most people, and though we acknowledge the value of good advice, it still seems like a shift in the regular rhythm of our lives.
Until we contextualize the advice into our day-to-day, and get a feel for it, we don't truly realize its benefits. When we read it, we only know it to be true in abstract, not in reality. This is where trial and error come in.
What's great about "take breaks" is how easy it is to implement. You can take action on it right away. Then, you can decide whether it's worth your time. You also come out of the experience with more nuance about how you define a break, when you take it, whether you take it, and what you listen for when you hear others talk about it.
Instead of leaping to "yeah, that's easy," or "no, that's hard," try it out for one full week. Run an experiment to test your assumptions. If you stick to it, then you can evaluate how you feel afterwards, and if you can't even do a week, there's no real loss anyway. It's worth a try.
What sound advice have you gotten lately that you're avoiding? Why are you not following through on it? Can you try it for a few weeks to see if it suits you?
I'm excited to hear your thoughts, so please share them in the Comments section or via email, and please pass this on to someone who'd be interested!