Kirkus Reviews QR Code
OFF BALANCE by Matthew Kelly


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

by Matthew Kelly

Pub Date: Sept. 15th, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-59463-081-1
Publisher: Hudson Street/Penguin

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 satisfaction to balance 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 best companies 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.”