Book review: Juggle! Rethink work, reclaim your life

05 Aug 2009

Many times in the past I've said or heard the term "work life balance". In job interviews, in chats with my line managers and work colleagues, or in conversation with friends and family. It tends to be used when anybody is talking about finding time for family, friends, entertainment and enjoyment outside of work. It also suggests that there is a dividing line between work and life that can be easily drawn and stepped over. Finally it suggests that we want that separation between work and life and that work doesn't fit into life; that it can't, and potentially shouldn't, be integrated.

For some people this statement holds true. They don't want to do or think about work outside of their 9:00 to 5:30 job. There is a definite line to be drawn. For other people, such as Ian Sanders, work is enjoyable because he's working on things he's passionate about. Ian integrates work and life because he enjoys what he does and understands the benefits it provides. Many other people feel the same way and Ian interviews a select few in his book.

In "Juggle! Rethink work, reclaim your life" Ian discusses the motivations behind his choice to live in the "scrambled up world of work" where he integrates work and life. He provides hints and tips on how he, and others including Gary Vaynerchuk (a personal favourite of mine), manage to "live the juggle life" and the benefits that this provides. Being a juggler certainly isn't all plain sailing and the book also covers valuable information on the challanges and extra responsibilities that you may face if you make take the plunge.

Ian's first book, "LEAP!: Ditch Your Job, Start Your Own Business & Set Yourself Free", introduced some similar concepts to those covered in Juggle!. I actually read Juggle! before I read LEAP! and there is some crossover, but not enough to take anything away from either book. Juggle!, in contrast to the title of Ian's first book, even suggests you should consider staying with your current employer and suggests way of negotiating or fashioning a role and a lifestyle that suits you.

Juggle! Rethink work, reclaim your life contains 198 pages packed with thought provoking content and discussion. The book is very accessible and contains short, informative and well structured sections and chapters. So much so I would almost class the book as a reference and I'll certainly be going back again to read through the a number of chapters or work my way though some of the great lists that Ian has compiled in the near future.

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