I was recently asked how I managed to get everything done and not work long hours. The implication in the question was that there is an increasing difficulty to find a balance in workload and in particular, deal with the volume of emails to be dealt with.
I think my first reaction would be ‘How did *I* deal with it? Not too well!’ I must be honest with this because I was working a minimum of 55 hours per week, and some weeks quite a bit more than this. However, I only worked 8 minutes from home, so my logic was that I could well be home earlier than many others. Also, my attitude was to give generously to my workplace as a form of mission service for God.
However, at the end of 2018, I made a decision that I wanted to ‘lead a simpler life’, so I can hardly say I had the problem solved.
Here is a summary of the things that I did to try to bring some balance. It is quite long, and I think that it reflects the truth that there is not one single cause and no silver bullet solution either.
Ask yourself if your busy-ness is self-inflicted? For me, I think it was in part. One of my reflections that I had in early 2019 was to ask myself whether my purpose and worth was held in my busy-ness and being central to a lot of things. Having accumulated a lot of knowledge and experience, it can be very satisfying to help people by sharing that knowledge and experience, but how much was I using that to reinforce my worth? By about March, I was feeling ‘out of touch’ with what was going on at the School. I still had my Tyndale email address (I am still employed by Tyndale), but it was nowhere nearly as busy as it had been. Was everything going okay? I heard God say to me ‘Andrew (because he doesn’t call me Andy out of respect for my wishes) you are not defined by this.’ It was like a very mild form of cold turkey withdrawal. Even now I have to be careful that I don’t allow this to be transferred into a different form. It is hard because there is a balance between wanting to serve and needing to look after myself.
I pray that some of this content has been useful to you and that you continue to hear what God is saying to you about your purpose, worth and work/life balance.