Finding that Balance

Here’s how a typical week goes for me –-

· 6am – 12am – prepare for work >> go to work >> work, work, work >> go home from work
· 12am - 6am – sleep

· 6am – 10am – extra (catch-up) sleep
· 10am – 4pm – watch TV, surf the net, and/or read something
· 4pm – 12am – malling (Time Zone, dinner, coffee, and/or movie)

· 12am – 1am – watch TV
· 1am – 10am – sleep
· 10am – 11pm – stay at home (watch TV, surf the net, and/or read something)
· 11pm – 6am – sleep

So, do I still have that “work-life balance” that I’ve always wanted to keep? Well, looking at my schedule –- I think my weekends are fine, but my weekdays, obviously, need some work!

I really want “balance,” but sometimes, I just forget about it. I can’t say I don’t have control over things. That would just be an excuse. And I would know. Because I know that -- Yes, there are things that we can’t control like (1) how the sun rises in the morning and (2) how it goes down during the night. Those two things I can’t control, but what I do between those two events, I’m totally in control of.

You know how writing makes you help absorb things? It’s kind of similar to how creating “digests” helps law students remember the key points of a certain case. So, that’s what I’m doing now –- writing about the things that I should keep in mind to make sure that I get to keep that quite elusive “work-life balance.”

  1. From the words of my current manager – “Yes, the company can be very demanding, but you don’t need to meet all of its demands.” With that, I guess, it’s okay to say “no” when you really feel that the water’s up to the neck already. You don’t want to drown, don’t you? Worried about getting a low performance rating? Okay, consistently getting an A+ rating is important. It can fast track your career. But somehow, someday, you’re going to feel tired and because you’re tired, you won’t enjoy work… And because you’re not enjoying work, you lose eight hours (or more) of happiness everyday. And because you’re not happy almost all the time, you quit your job. And when you quit your job, you don’t get to enjoy your exaggeratingly-hard-earned A+ rating and fast tracked career. The keyword here is “PHASING” (not “slacking” huh!).

  2. From the words of another manager – “Know the difference between working hard and working smart.” Working hard is important, but it is not as important as working smart. I think this is pretty self-explanatory. You can get things done by working hard, but you can get the same things done in a significantly lesser amount of time IF you work smart.

  3. Remember that there’s more to life than just work or career. “Successful” will never be one and the same as “happy.” So? Enjoy your lunch break (stop thinking about work for an hour), take a breather, value your health (make it non-negotiable), spend time (enough time) with your loved ones, have a quick chat with an officemate (he/she might just need a breather too), focus when you need to focus, work hard… no, work smart, and play hard… really play hard.
Words of wisdom from the more experienced people at work really come in handy all the time. Most managers in the company have already spent more than six years of their life working. They should know. By the way, that last item was from the words of “myself.” See? I know what I need to do. Most of the time, most people know what to do. In my case, I think I just need to be reminded every once in a while. So, note to self –- live a balanced life!

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