I have for a long time sought, and often lived, a life that balance friendships, community involvement, spiritual practice and work/schooling. Since going back to school and enrolling in a graduate program in architecture, the balance has been severly skewed, with predicable loss of life quality and increase in frustration.
It seems that any culture that is life centered, whether it is on a global, regional or instituional scale, will make a strong effort to help individuals achieve this balance. In terms of work and schooling, it seems that the minimum would be to allow for evenings and weekends off... Any system or (sub)culture that is set up in a way that prevents individuals from finding this balance in everyday life seems profoundly flawed and unhealthy (for individuals and society)...
For me in my current situation, there seems to be three main factors: Quantity of work. Quality of work. Quality of life. I am expected to produce a high quantity of work, far beyond a regular 35-40 hour workweek (double at times), which does not allow much time/energy for the two other ends of the triangle. There is a predictable loss of satisfaction from not being able to explore a topic/project in depth, and further loss of quality of life from being able to engaging in social/community activities and spiritual practice to any significant extent.
It makes me wonder what worldview is behind such a system... What is seen as most important? Work - or people and life? For those to co-exist and enhance each other, there has to be a reasonable balance.