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What is work?

Make work, house work, piece or full time the world seems to be full of work. And in answering a recent poll titled "How much do you work?" I had an epiphany. You see the poll asked the question and had options for answering of 0-20, 21-40, 41-60 and 60+ hours a week. As I viewed the options I reflected on how much "doing" of work I do. And that's right around the 40 hour mark. But as I thought deeper I realized there are many time I'll be running outside, thinking about work, mulling over a problem, or planning maybe thinking through the implication of a new process. And that - given I work squarely in the knowledge economy - is also working.

So my work hours are well above the 40 hour mark I at first thought.

The way I have been defining work is too narrow, using a definition that's a spill over from the industrial age - "operating a machine" (e.g. sitting at my computer) and/or "being in my place of work" (e.g. being in the office). That's where the 40 hour number came from.

But as the work I do becomes increasingly abstract and where I work becomes more fluid those definitions no longer fit. And the number of working hours goes up.

So I'm left with the question of how to balance the doing of work with the thinking of work.

How do you strike that balance?

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