Sunday, September 6, 2015

A Labor Day Memo

Employment is a wonderful and needful thing for ourselves and others.  It is the fuel of society.  It is a worthy pursuit.  However, something seems to be broken, and we seem to be losing the human part of humanity.  The engine of progress is getting a knock and ping.

Somewhere along the line, work crossed a healthy boundary.  In the not too distant past, people left work at a prescribed hour.  Within the past decade, technology has enabled work to follow employees home and become a task master.  This has resulted in a synthesis of work and life where clocks and  boundaries do not exist.

On the heels of expanding work hours came the expectation that employees accomplish more with less.  Organizations are driven to innovate to stay relevant while keeping costs low, so employees find themselves faced with burgeoning demands.  Human productivity can only be stretched so far.

Many Americans primarily identify with their work.  Perhaps it is the Protestant work ethic or maybe it is just the amount of time devoted to work that is the driver.  But, if you inquire about another’s life, you will get a job title and elevator pitch in the first few minutes of conversation. This is rather sad because work is not who we are.  It is what we do with a part of our life.

If the world changed drastically tomorrow and your job disappeared for one reason or another, what would you say about yourself?  Would you then talk more about your family, interests, worldview, etc…?   Would you get to know yourself better?

Quit allowing others to empty you like a glass of water and fill yourself with the wonder of life around you. Set limits.  Unplug. Take your vacation.  Don’t check your email at all hours.  Give others grace to do the same.  Don’t let life pass you by.

Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend!


  • Explore your interests outside work to limit any boredom.
  • Limit after-hours email.
  • If you need help at work, ask for it.  Don’t suffer in silence.
  • Put your devices away at home.
  • Set reasonable limits and learn to say “no” when warranted.
  • Take care of yourself physically, mentally and spiritually.
  • Tame the technology task master with technology.

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