Burned out working 25/8? Is it Spring fever or COVID wrecking work-life balance?


What is work life balance in our 25/8 lifestyle?

My 11-yr old is limping to Friday’s finish line for school grading, and I get it. His home-school Google Classroom assignments far outweigh any in-school routine. My work feels the same, and COVID definitely wrecks work-life balance. Before, most of us worked 25/8, yet we found balance. But work-life lines are a blur when everyone’s at home 25/8.

All of this hit home for me when my kid melted down a couple nights ago. And again when I laughed a bit too hard at this Onion post today.

Made me wonder: what is work-life balance in our 25/8 lifestyle?

Or to be more specific: what is personal time when we’re working at home and mostly don’t/can’t leave?

I thank my lucky stars The Basis Point actually got busier during COVID as our consumer banking, housing, fintech expertise became more valuable.

Easy to say now, but it’s just like 2008. Nobody knows what’ll happen as a crisis plays out, and all we can do is fight through it.

Back in the eye-of-the-storm October 2008, I launched a joint venture between my mortgage bank and a large real estate brokerage here in San Francisco. I worked 25/8, was profitable 58 of 60 months, elevated my career in ways I never planned for, and had a good home life.

Also easy to say now, but those early days felt like these days now.

Wake up and fight. That’s all I know.

Next month will be our 2-year anniversary of launching The Basis Point as a full time consultancy. We’re establishing a similar record of profitability in these early days, but I don’t pretend I have it figured out.

I just wake up and fight.

And this past week I’ve felt like the burned out look written all over my son’s face.

There’s just too much. Too many different disciplines to be deeply focused on simultaneously.

For him, it’s going way deeper on reading/comprehension, writing, math, science, music, art than he ever has before — and having to report and document all of it in detail.

For me, it’s also going way deeper on all strategic/dealmaking, product, regulatory, operational, sales, and marketing elements of multiple clients’ businesses than I ever have before — and also doing the same on The Basis Point itself.

Plus doing it profitably. Which means even more work.

Plus trying to un-blur the work-life balance lines. Stop each day to spend time with my wife, kid, and also call my family and friends.

I know all of you out there relate.

It’s just a lot.

The weather is getting warmer so this week I’m telling myself “don’t worry it’s just Spring fever” so I can find the strength to fight on.

With that, I’m going for a run after this post. It is 2:38 pm in San Francisco, and logic says “WTF are you doing going for a run with so much on your plate?”

My answer is: 25/8 is what we make it.

I don’t pretend to have my entire business life figured out, and I also don’t pretend 25/8 lifestyle goes away post-COVID.

I started this 25/8 column long before COVID as a way to redefine our always-on lifestyles and find some sanity.

It’s not a badge of honor to work all the time.

But working for the lives we want is perpetual.

So if I’m going to wake up and fight till the day I don’t wake up, then I need to find the balance 25/8.

Or at 2:38 in the afternoon.

Godspeed everyone … let’s keep fighting.


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