Asked how he achieve work/life balance, Google’s Director of Research Peter Norvig offered up a pretty easy answer. He knows that his job is in making good decisions on what’s important, rather than what just arrived three minutes ago.
Original image via Viernest.
Norvig’s full quote comes courtesy of InformationWeek’s excerpt from Making it Big in Software: Get the Job. Work the Org. Become Great.. In that book of interviews, by Sam Lightstone, Norvig gives this quote about how he keeps what is, in all likelihood, a very involved gig at Google from overwhelming his personal life:
People get out of balance when they see their value as being able to respond quickly. If I see myself as a machine for answering email, then my work life would never stop because my email never stops. If instead I see my value as separating the important from the unimportant and making good decisions on the important, then I can go home at a reasonable hour, spend time with my family, ignore my email and phone messages all weekend long, and make sure that when I return to work, I am in the right mood to make the good decisions.
Not everyone can choose to put off late-breaking things — medical and safety personnel, in particular — but most of us could stand to question how far we may have stepped away from what we were hired for. Thanks for the link, Mike!
Making It Big In Software: Google’s Peter Norvig [InformationWeek]