Work Life Balance is a Myth!  John Drury

Ben Farley | vision.org.au
Wednesday, December 20th, 2017

It has never worked!

Ask mentor, speaker and author John Drury.

“Mental health issues are now at the same level as those for physical accidents and injuries.”

“Entrepreneurs have the biggest problems with mental health,” John shared.

Do we work to live or do we live to work?

“Some of my clients, their marriages have gone because they’ve been so committed to their work. Or their children have grown up and are now spinning out of control and out of relationship with them because they didn’t invest in their family.”

Let John Drury, once a successful pastor, tell you about the work life balance – “I wasn’t exercising, staying fit….for 20 years…I was finding it hard to relax…I couldn’t switch off. I was struggling to be happy in myself. I was restless and disengaged from relationships and feeling very, very lonely.”

The challenge today is the juggle

Busy business owners and executives are required to be communicating and making important decisions 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

The demands of work have never been greater. Yet lifestyle expectations have never been higher.

Mentor, speaker and author John Drury has written a book called ‘Integrate’ – ‘Why work life balance is a myth and what you really need is to create a fulfilling lifestyle’.

John said the challenge today is the juggle. The juggle of your own business or your career especially if you’re passionate about what you’re doing.

“Juggling all the demands of that with all the demands of a personal life, because we want our lives to be pretty full these days, if you get it wrong you can not only jeopardise your career or your business but also your health.”

“Income protection claims are now for what they call psychological injuries, anxiety, stress and depression.”

Mental health the biggest problem

“Mental health issues are now at the same level as those for physical accidents and injuries,” John described, saying more and more people are struggling to function because of the pressure and stress of trying to manage busy lives.

So, in what category of business are the people who are suffering the most?

“Entrepreneurs have the biggest problems with mental health,” John declared.

“That’s because they’re going for it 24/7, maybe weeks or months or years at a time just trying to get something going and the challenges are great,” John observed, saying it’s the health challenges that are greatest.

So, this work life balance thing is wrong. Is that right, John?

“It does set it up as if work is somehow separate to your life – a seesaw of how much time you spend working compared to how much time you spend living.”

Thinking about your work late at night – that’s OK

“But for me, if you’re passionate about you work and I hope you are, you’re not going to switch off the moment you walk out the door.”

“You’ve got things you’re thinking about, ideas and problems you’re solving, and if you want to be successful it does take a lot of your mind space and energy,” John outlined, saying it’s not wrong to be thinking about your work late at night or waking up in the morning with an idea.

The work life balance concept gives rise to the accusation of a business focused person as someone who’s a workaholic. Yet that’s not the case. He or she is simply passionate about their work.

“I think passion’s a good thing,” John stated, saying it’s about learning how to manage that passion.

“And to integrate your life with all the other things that are important in your life; your relationships, your health, recreation and other activities where you want to invest in your personal growth.”

Meaningless jobs – what to do?

Job fulfillment is paramount to work and purpose. John Drury said it’s a shame to spend one of the biggest segments of your life doing something that’s meaningless to you.

“I would always try and encourage people to find a meaningful employment where you can get passionate and involved and to be emotionally and physically engaged in what you’re doing,” was how John described it.

But what of those who have no choice? Their jobs are meaningless, purposeless, but they need those pay-packets at the end of the week? John’s advice.

“I would work on myself and do some training and find what you are passionate about and connect your work to purpose.”

“Whether that’s employment, working for someone else, or whether it’s looking to start your own business or do something on the side,” was John’s advice.

Find jobs with a sense of purpose

However, John said there was a case for someone who does his job diligently at a workplace where the work is not the most important thing in your life except for the money.

“Your passions are elsewhere. Maybe involved in some cause or commitment in the community. So you work and build a job but you put your passions into other things,” he admitted.

But John is convinced it’s still possible to find a job where there is some sense of purpose and fulfillment as well as just getting a pay-packet.

Do we work to live or do we live to work? This a question John Drury puts to some of his clients.

“Some are working way too long and way too hard and hurting themselves. They might be getting business success happening but their partner’s unhappy or maybe left.”

The power, the passion, the damage

“Some of my clients, their marriages have gone because they’ve been so committed to their work. Or their children have grown up and are now spinning out of control and out of relationship with them because they didn’t invest in their family.”

As John points out, the initial intention for work may have been the right one but it can take a hold and become completely consuming, especially if you’re passionate, a business owner and are driven.

“Getting lost in that is when the damage comes,” John observed, before reflecting on the damage that took place in his own work life.

John was pastoring a church.

“We were passionate about what we were doing, helping lots of people, the church was ministering to hundreds of people that grew to be about a thousand.”

I was struggling to be happy

“There was joy, a lot of success and great things happening but I wasn’t really looking after myself very well.”

“I wasn’t exercising, staying fit, and I think there’s a big link between physical fitness and emotional health because when you’re physically fit you’re de-stressing whether it’s in the gym or playing sport,” was John’s analysis.

“I was doing this for 20 years and I found over those years I was finding it hard to relax. I would get a day off and wouldn’t know what to do. I couldn’t switch off. I was struggling to be happy in myself. I was restless and disengaged from relationships and feeling very, very lonely.”

“My compassion levels for people started to go down. I’d get annoyed and irritated quite easily. I’d go through breaks and have a little holiday and get a little revived, but I think burnout’s a gradual thing, it builds up over time.”

John was married saying it was good in lots of ways but admitted he wasn’t investing in it.

Lost – a marriage and a family

“I enjoyed being needed more than I should have. Some of my own emotional insecurities were being fed by the work I was doing. So a whole bunch of things came together where I made some dumb decisions,” John confessed again.

The outcome wasn’t pleasant. John had to resign from the church. He also lost his marriage and his family in a way that was shattering and devastating.

As John pointed out, when we’re just doing, doing, doing, even for a great cause, you still have to look after yourself.

“To lay down your life for others doesn’t mean to burn yourself out.”

“You’ve got to say NO to other people’s needs sometimes in order to look after yourself and I wasn’t good at that.”

Clients on the edge of burnout

John now relates to what Jesus did saying the Lord didn’t respond to every need and try and fix every problem.

“He tried to respond to what God was saying to Him and that’s the challenge for pastors and every Christian. I got that very wrong.”

He said he has many clients in business who are right on the edge of burnout and don’t even realise it.

“That’s because you can still function. Most people were shocked when I had to step down because they didn’t realise I was struggling so much.”

“That’s because you learn how to perform and function, but on the inside I’d lost my way completely.”

Footnote

About John Drury

John’s painful personal experience with burnout while in a Senior Leadership role, and his subsequent recovery, led him to start  his own consulting business in 2010, with a clear focus to mentor high achievers (business owners and corporate executives) to a more holistic view of self-leadership.

John has developed a practical, relevant methodology that enables high achievers to pursue audacious goals without neglecting all that is precious in their world. This process enables the integration of all the elements of life into a clear and workable plan that brings clarity and peace of mind.

John Drury is a powerful Presenter, Trainer, Facilitator and Mentor. He splits his time between working with business leaders as an Executive Coach/Mentor, Facilitating Strategic Planning and Healthy Culture Processes for companies, and running Leadership and Team Training for a range of companies.

John’s passion is to release the potential within people and teams, and to help high achievers to pursue their goals passionately without sabotaging all that is precious in their world.  He strongly believes that it is possible to achieve extraordinary success AND build a great lifestyle as well.

Included on this page is a 30 minute interview conducted by Know My Life Productions which gives some background to John’s life and why he is so passionate to work as a business mentor with high achievers so they achieve their goals AND build a great lifestyle.

Contact John on 0405 539 025 or john@johndrury.biz to discuss how he can help you.

Integrate

It has never worked! And it certainly does not work in the 21st Century when technology and the global nature of business means busy business owners and executives are required to be communicating and making important decisions 24/7. The demands of work have never been greater. Lifestyle expectations have never been higher. How does it all work? Certainly NOT through attempting some kind of balancing act!

In this breakthrough book, author John Drury shows that an approach which INTEGRATES work with all that is precious in life is the way forward. John shows what is required to pursue outstanding business success AND build a great lifestyle for yourself and those you love.

https://www.booktopia.com.au/integrate-john-drury/prod9780995377707.html?source=pla&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI8v6-4PeU2AIVzRwrCh2vswN8EAQYASABEgKSbPD_BwE

Other Related Posts of Interest

Inspiration for Business Startups  – Wes Leake  

In it for the long haul People who are believers in Christ and under the blessing of God are ideally positioned to be entrepreneurs. In a position to extrapolate on that is none better than Wes Leake, CEO of Business Blessings. Wes is an old h (More)

‘God can certainly meet all our needs’ – Alex Cook

‘There’s no recession in heaven’ “Australians today are the third most indebted households on earth.” The world goes in economic cycles – ‘good and bad’. “The prudent see danger and take refuge but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.” (More)

Why Doing Kingdom Business is Different – Wez Hone

‘Australia needs profitable Kingdom businesses’ So, what is different about Christian business? And what is so significant about the integrity that enters the marketplace where there are business people submitted to God? Is it a recipe for suc (More)

 

 

The Word for Today

 

Donate to vision

Over 80% of our income is from the freewill gifts of wonderful people just like you.
So thank you for helping. Your generous support is 'Connecting Faith to Life'.