The Myth of Perfect Attendance: Finding Balance in Work and Life

Kim Martin
2 min readMar 8, 2024

I used to be the poster child for perfect attendance. Blame it on my upbringing; my folks drilled it into me from day one. Looking back now, I regret having a “perfect attendance” attitude about so many events in my life — high school, sports practices, work, etc.

It is ridiculous! So, here’s my hot take: Perfect attendance does not necessarily mean better performance or a more valuable employee.

Think back to those days when you dragged yourself out of bed, feeling like you’d been hit by a freight train. Mentally, you were running on fumes, and physically, well, let’s just say you weren’t breaking any land speed records. Sound familiar? We’ve all had those moments. And what usually happens? You end up being about as productive as a broken pencil — not exactly making waves or leaving a lasting impression.

But here’s the thing: it’s okay to have those days. In fact, it’s more than okay — it’s human. So the next time you find yourself in that situation, take a breather. Assess the situation. Maybe you burned the midnight oil a little too fiercely, or aren’t feeling your best. Could a quick walk or a bit of fresh air help rejuvenate you, or is it time to admit defeat and take a day off?

Believe it or not, showing up a little late (with a heads-up, of course) or taking a day off when you’re not at your best can actually be more beneficial in the long run. After all, it’s better to recharge your batteries and come back stronger.

So let’s not get too caught up in the pursuit of perfect attendance.
At the end of the day, life is about balance — and sometimes, that means giving yourself permission to hit the snooze button and take a much-needed break.



Kim Martin

A thought leader in the areas of executive leadership, change management, and women in the C-suite.