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Off Balance: Getting Beyond the Work-Life Balance Myth to Personal and Professional Satisfaction

Off Balance: Getting Beyond the Work-Life Balance Myth to Personal and Professional Satisfaction

4.0 5
by Matthew Kelly

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The prescriptive follow-up to the New York Times bestseller The Dream Manager.

One of the major issues in our lives today is work-life balance. Everyone wants it; no one has it. But Matthew Kelly believes that work- life balance was a mistake from the start. Because we don't really want balance. We want satisfaction.

Kelly lays out the system


The prescriptive follow-up to the New York Times bestseller The Dream Manager.

One of the major issues in our lives today is work-life balance. Everyone wants it; no one has it. But Matthew Kelly believes that work- life balance was a mistake from the start. Because we don't really want balance. We want satisfaction.

Kelly lays out the system he uses with his clients, his team, and himself to find deep, long-term satisfaction both personally and professionally. He introduces us to the three philosophies of our age that are dragging us down. He shows us how to cultivate the energy that will give us enough battery power for everything we need and want to do. And finally, in five clear steps, he shows us how to use his Personal & Professional Satisfaction System to establish and honor our biggest priorities, even if we spend a lot more time on some of the lesser ones.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Why is work-life balance so difficult to achieve? Because, says Kelly (The Dream Manager), the very concept is fatally flawed. The attempt to "balance" life against work necessarily pits the two against each other; in reality, we do not have two lives, one personal and one professional, but one life that contains both aspects. Better to seek satisfaction rather than balance, and Kelly presents the three philosophies (working to become the best version of yourself, practicing virtue, and self-control) that will help you get there. He urges readers to get in touch with their dissatisfaction, to ask the big questions, and to follow his five-step plan to personal and professional satisfaction: assessment, assigning priorities, developing core habits, and performing both a weekly strategy session and a quarterly review. Though the ideas are solid, they're thin on the ground—readers looking for a more substantive treatment will be left wanting. (Sept.)
Kirkus Reviews

Management consultant Kelly upends the myth of "having-it-all" and replaces it with a system for personal and professional satisfaction.

For his latest entry in the self-help pantheon, Kelly (Perfectly Yourself: 9 Lessons for Enduring Happiness, 2008, etc.) conducted a survey that found people prefer satisfactiontobalance in both the workplace and at home. With this in mind, he set about devising a method to guarantee satisfaction in both work and life: "The promise of this book is to help you design and build a more satisfying life in both the personal and professional arenas. We will do this together by approaching our lives with the strategy and rigor with which the very bestcompanies in the world approach business." Kelly identifies three -isms that erode the fabric of professional and personal lives: individualism, hedonism and minimalism. All, he writes, are anathema to satisfaction. But it's not long before the author recalibrates the conversation entirely, exposing the false divide between work and life. "You cannot have it all," he writes. To that extent, Kelly establishes a set of values-based priorities that readers can use to reshape their life. Breaking it down even further, the author offers a working-priority list. His system may be pragmatic and easily applicable, but he cautions against pitfalls such as depleted energy levels due to long-term dysfunction (anger, fear, anxiousness) and distraction. The final stage of his system is personal and professional accountability, neither of which should be taken lightly.

Supplant time management with the author's strategies to become "the best version of yourselves."

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.64(w) x 8.56(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are Saying About This

Robert A. McDonald
"Matthew Kelly’s Off Balance properly reframes the question of work-life balance into a question of personal satisfaction. I personally believe that living a life driven by a purpose is more meaningful and rewarding than meandering through life without direction. We find that employees, who live their purpose in everything they do, have higher personal satisfaction.” --( Robert A. McDonald, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer, The Procter & Gamble Company)
Andy Lorenzen
"So many people today aspire to be the best version of themselves but slowly sacrifice that vision to the demands of full and busy lives. How helpful to read a work that takes us beyond that constant tug-of-war to a place where balance with grace, rather than imbalance with regret, is the outcome. " -- (Andy Lorenzen, Director, Talent Strategy, Chick-fil-A, Inc.)
Patrick Lencioni
"Off-Balance is not for everyone – only those who are interested in finding more energy and satisfaction in life. But if you’re one of those, then this short, compelling and well-organized book might just rock your world.” --(Patrick Lencioni, president, The Table Group; author, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team)
Cathy L. Greenberg and Barrett S. Avigdor
"There is nothing more difficult, as working mothers and fathers both know, than juggling personal and professional demands without sacrificing their own happiness. We’re so happy to hear a male perspective shared by Matthew Kelly, who shows us how to align our priorities to get what we are really looking for – life satisfaction. Everyone with a job (inside or outside the home) should read this book." -- (Cathy L. Greenberg and Barrett S. Avigdor, New York Times best selling authors, What Happy Working Mothers Know)

Meet the Author

Matthew Kelly is an internationally acclaimed speaker and author, as well as the founder and president of Floyd Consulting. Over the past decade, he has given more than 2,500 keynote presentations and has done conventions for Fortune 500 companies, national trade associations, professional organizations, universities, churches and nonprofits. He lives in Cincinnati. Visit floydconsulting.com.

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Off Balance 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm the type of person this book was written for. A great doctor, a great mother of three, but with a struggling practice and a marriage in trouble. Never enough time in the days. Not enough help. I knew the answer was within me and simple...but I couldn't wrap my brain around it. The author lays it out so simply that it gives even someone like me hope that I can be happy and satisfied with my life and not feel guilty about the difficult decisions I have to make on a day to day basis. I've already started making plans for tomorrow. Very insightful.
CandiePA More than 1 year ago
Excellent book. it will make you think about what is truly important in you life. Couldn't put it down!
Elizabeth03 More than 1 year ago
Excellen book. Great read. Mr. Kelly lays out how to self reflect and either take control or redirect your focus to what your priorities and strengths are.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While Off Balance by Matthew Kelly does present a few good ideas scattered amongst contradictory ideas, Catholic followers of this author and speaker may be disappointed in the overall content. Mr. Kelly's "research" is not documented with any bibliographic details and his assertion that personal and professional satisfaction "trumps" balance needs further clarification in light of his other "Catholic" writings. Research bias needs to be considered in this particular work where the author may have influenced the results of his interpretation of his phone interviews in order to fit his thesis. His assertion that people do not want or need balance appears to be in contradiction with Pope Benedicts teachings about finding balance between work and rest. Pope Benedict XVI has urged families to seek a healthier balance between work and rest. The Pope points out the true dilemma by calling families around the world to “restore the real meaning of rest to feast days. “Work and rest”, writes the Pope in his letter, are intimately associated with the life of families. They influence the choices the family makes, the relationship between spouses and among parents and children, and they affect the dealings the family has with society and the Church.”The Roman Pontiff further illuminates the real crisis by writing that “in our own time, unfortunately, the organization of work, which is planned and implemented as a function of market competition and maximizing profit, and the concept of rest as a time for evasion and consumption, contribute to the break-up of families and communities, and to the spread of an individualistic lifestyle. Overall, the book is not entirely anti-Catholic and does present some elements of Catholicism and spirituality but the book is primarily presented as a secular self-help book with a "system" which needs further analysis via more sound traditional research methodolgy.