It turns out the origin of Saint Valentine is a little… well, nebulous to say the least. Nonetheless, we use the name to celebrate love on the 14th of February! I remember my parents buying us small gifts for Valentine’s Day, I’ve celebrated “Galentines” Days, and I now enjoy the nudge Valentine’s Day provides to tell my husband, children and friends how much they mean to me.

I hope you are able to love and be loved next Wednesday!

That love is part of the “why” behind MatchPace. I love my family, and I also love my work. But I struggled to do work I loved in a way that didn’t interfere with my ability to be present with my family. I didn’t want to be away from my children 40-50 hours a week, but I found it hard to find a part-time professional position because in our workplace culture, “part-time” usually communicates “partial effort.”

But I know that’s not true. This study of nearly 2,000 white-collar professionals in the UK in 2013 showed our time spent doing actual productive, content-related work is less than 3 hours each day. Other studies show 61% of our time at work is spent managing our work, not actually completing it.

So instead of part time communicating partial effort, “full time” should communicate too many unproductive hours that could be spent on other important priorities like family, volunteering and hobbies.

And those wasted hours drive talented people from the workforce. Long, unproductive days burn them out, make their relationships complicated, and make it difficult to invest in their health and wellbeing. Most people can’t afford to take part-time jobs because of the associated pay cut, but hours at work that aren’t associated with productive outcomes in a full-time job keeps them from the things that are so important to them.

I bet you have many things you love: a partner, or children, or a cause you love to volunteer for. And I’d guess you don’t want to spend 50% or more of your day wasting time at work: tasks that take longer to accomplish than they should, or surfing the internet, or meetings that are no longer helpful, or waiting for your boss to ask you to do something urgent.

I don’t want people to sacrifice personal relationships for work. And I don’t want people to give up meaningful work because of they don’t have time for their personal relationships.

So in the spirit of MatchPace, let’s share a little more love this month by loving our jobs, working hard at them, and then living well and loving the other things in your life that are important to you.