First of all, a pleasant day to everyone. This author hopes that you had a peaceful and holy week that was full of glorification of our God and repentance of sinfulness and was devoid of any mortal wrongdoings that do not make Him proud. He also hopes that everybody had a happy Easter Sunday to remember and celebrate the resurrection of our savior Jesus Christ after he sacrificed and died on the cross to salvage mankind from their sins.
May everyone have renewed peace and let there be reinvigorated faith in our Creator.
This week, Myron Sta. Ana (the Next Big Thing in Corporate, Communications, Organizational, Youth Leadership and Volunteerism, Personal Branding and Excellence, and Motivational training, consultancy and strategy) will talk about work-life balance and how some successful professionals and entrepreneurs still manage to have social lives despite the stress, the pressure and the busyness that come with their business endeavors and professional lives.
We all know that there are countless achievers in the business and corporate world nowadays. From rags-to-riches and nobody-to-somebody personal stories of business success to young professionals who in their early or late twenties are already managers, it is not surprising anymore. However, only some of these people can confidently and honestly say that they are in a healthy and happy relationship with the opposite sex or that they are attempting to be in one in case they don’t have someone yet and that they go out and party hard with friends they can call their own “barkada”. Even if they have a current “love life” of their own or their own set of friends they hang out with, only a few can claim that their relationships with them are not being set aside or jeopardized because of their business ventures or being workaholic.
Hence, it is interesting to discover or learn about the most workable bits of advice regarding taking good care of relationships regardless if they are romantic or just friendly. Let’s remember that one may be very successful with his business here and there, may keep on getting promoted despite young age due to exceeding expectations and a commendable performance and contributions at work; or may continuously get awards and recognitions for their excellent contributions for the society and the world of business, but nothing and nobody beat and can replace the happiness having a loving partner; one who will be with you even at your worst and genuinely concerned friends who will comfort you when you feel down.
Hopefully, the following points below not only help you understand and appreciate work-life balance better but also serve as life-changing words of advice that will help you make a human being once again; in every sense of the word.
- Everything is a choice.
If you choose to marry your job or your business and dedicate yourself to it and it alone and take for granted your own “love life” and social life, then you will never really have a love life or you will never be successful in any relationship you are in even if you have one. Also, you will always miss the fun times that could have been spent during those times you knew it would never harm your profession or your business even if you spent some time with your cliques. Now, if it’s never in your personality to fall in love with the opposite sex ever in your life or it’s your personal choice not to be in any kind of an intimate relationship ever, then you could at least think of your immediate family, your parents; siblings; and your relatives.
- There is time. You just have to willingly find and sincerely make it.
It is always true that “if there’s a will, there’s a way”. Even if you treat each day or each second critical for your business, there are times that you have to spend quality time with your better half, family, or boyfriend/girlfriend at least during the weekend. And you just don’t do it to show off or make a point that no matter how busy you are, you can dedicate some exclusive time just for them. Do it because you value them and that they are much more important than your business or your work. Do it because without them, you will never be successful in what you do as they are the source of your inspiration. Do it because if they are not around, you wouldn’t know how to deal with all the pressure and stress that you are beleaguered by. Do it because everything that you do and work hard for is for them. Particularly with your friends, there is nothing wrong reuniting with them every once in a while especially when it’s been a long time since you have seen one another. Once a week or twice a month wouldn’t really hurt, would it?
- When you are with your partner, your friends, or family; set aside work and business concerns and enjoy every bit of the time you’re with them.
If you’re the guy and you ask your partner out either on a date or an unwinding day at the mall, say it with sincerity and love. And when you’re at the mall or restaurant or anywhere else together, provide him/her your undivided attention. Don’t keep on taking calls or texting annoyingly unless they’re from someone whose call you know you have to attend to right there and then because it’s either an emergency situation or a person in distress for which immediate assistance is needed. Otherwise, you might lose your job the following week or gone is beloved business. If it’s your boss or an important client calling, excuse yourself real quick in a charismatic manner especially when you’re having a hearty meal with your partner and attend to the call. And when you’re already on the phone with the person calling or texting, don’t back off from telling him/her you’re in a date after all the important stuff has been talked about and you will get back to him/her as soon as you have gone back home.
Moreover, do the same for your family and friends. Touch base with them on a lot of things. There’s a lot of catching up to do. Take the initiatives in conversations or if it’s not your personality, then you could at least actively involve yourself in the chat and laugh with them, crack jokes with them, or share how is it going with you, etc. Once again, put aside your business or your work. Keep in mind that your business will not close down if you just spend quality time with them for a short time or work will always be there, it will not leave you. After all, it’s a weekend and work has to be left in the four corners of your office and should not be brought outside of it. You don’t need to be too hard on yourself.
- Overtime is good but it becomes bad when you overdo it.
It’s more understandable among business persons why they could not avoid rendering overtime. They have to in order to keep their ventures afloat and earning. Compared to office professionals, they have more control over their personal times and tasks anyways so they don’t really need to stay in the office to be able to continue with the conduct of their businesses. For office workers, on the other hand, make sure you limit your OT hours to just 2-3 hours at a maximum. Call it a day afterwards and just put off until the following day left-over tasks that you have not completed yet. Just in case you don’t know, it has been proven that we are only as good as what we can do within our shift or we are only effective and productive in the first nine hours. If we go beyond , regardless if we have to or not, the quality of work might already be affected. Or, we might already feel very exhausted, bored and sleepy. So, after all the day’s hard work, cool down and then go home. Your partner, family, or friends must be waiting for you.
- For those who are already married, who already live with their partners, or who still live with their parents; reconnect with your housemates first before you catch some Z’s.
That one mistake that some business owners and office executives commit when they get back home is they rest right away not thinking that their partner or family members have waited for them to come home and haven’t slept yet. They just downright neglect them and hit the bed immediately.
C’mon, you know it will surely crush their souls right away that they prepared dinner and yet, you will say you will not eat anymore as you’re tired and all that. It also hurts when you can’t even say you missed them or ask them how their day went and how they are in general. So, when you arrive from work, give them a kiss. Tell them “hi” or “hello”, ask them “how are you?” or “how was day your day?”or just basically tell them “I miss you” and strike up a conversation just to reconnect after hours of not being with them. Also, If your partner looks tired from all the day’s work at the house or preparing your food, comfort him/her by saying how much they’re missed (you have to sound sincere, of course) and proceed to beginning a talk about how work is, how the business is doing, and how your day went.
Then, you can get your most deserved rest with them afterwards. You see? Not only that you don’t take your family for granted, they also feel remembered and given importance and that you appreciate and recognize every single love they show to you and make you feel.
- If you have inevitable work you can’t say no to or if business must go on even over the weekend, don’t forget to let your partner, family or friends know and set expectations with them.
As soon as you discover or your boss requires you to report for work over the weekend, call up your partner or text him/her right away. Just go to the restroom or go outside if you think you’re causing disturbance to others. Let him/her/them know what it is for, why you must/have/should/need to be there, why you are the one who was picked by your boss and why it couldn’t be reassigned or delegated to somebody else, why it is important that you be there, how long it is going to be for, what specific day it will be on, what times you will be gone, and a lot more. In other words, inform them and in advance.
As you explain though, make sure that you elaborate the rationale behind it so as not to make your partner feel sad or frustrated and set expectations as to how you’re going to make up for it. Remember that they just have to know and you just have to take the initiative to keep them in the loop. Now, if they end up getting mad or still does not understand you no matter what you say o do, then just give them time to vent out on their own, to voice out their disappointment, and to let everything sink in first. By the end of it all, they will still surely understand and before you know it, they are already saying sorry to you for their immaturity or selfishness.
Friend, Best Friend, Peers:
Well, between your partner and your friends, I’m perfectly sure it’s easier to deal with the latter than the former. Surely, they would understand you right away as they also work and they may have businesses of their own. Therefore, they should know where you’re coming from and understand what you’re going through. But, let’s say they might feel the same way too, then you just have to tell them beforehand as well that you couldn’t make it to your get-together and you’ll just make up some other time.
All work and all business with no social/family life are boring, insensitive, and damaging both (physically and psychologically). Socialize with your friends at your time not at work and go out with your family to a mall or some better place.
Keep in mind that spending a quality bonding time with your friends or family is not just to de-stress or to temporarily escape from the pangs of work. More than anything else, it’s your time not just for yourself but for your loved ones as well. It’s that opportunity in which you metamorphose from being a corporate robot or a business machine to a human being who also needs love, affection, attention, and happiness that being with your family and friends could only bring. So, unwind during the weekend or when you’re on vacation. Go somewhere with your family and friends and have fun, genuine fun that is. You don’t want to go with them just for the sake of having work-life equilibrium. Do you? You’re there with them because they are the most important thing in the world for you. It’s your reward to yourself and for your family after all the hard work that you have put in and all the sacrifices that you made the previous work week.
Work-life balance is important. It keeps you sane. It makes you a person. It makes you enjoy life and whatever happiness it can bring; happiness that money can’t provide, that promotions won’t ever replace; that no pay increase can ever surpass.
Let this be your personal mantra that you may be successful with your businesses left and right or you may already be a top-level manager or a director as early as your late 20’s or early 30’s, but if you don’t have a social life or if you don’t have quality family time, you’re nothing but a money-making cyborg; an emotion-less piece of crap at that. While the rest of the people around you are smiling, laughing with their loved ones, or having the best time of their lives with people who truly care for them and love them for who they are even if they are not rich businessmen or accomplished professionals; you are stuck in your own boring world thinking all alone about your business or about what you need to do the following week to keep on getting promoted or recognized at work.
Think about it. The more successful and happier businessmen and highly-decorated professionals are those who know work-life balance, how important it is, how they can benefit from it, and can put it into practice in their daily lives.
If you are interested in inviting the expert, Myron Sta. Ana (the Next Big Thing in Corporate, Communications, Leadership, Personal Branding and Excellence, and Motivational/Inspirational Training and Consultancy) in your school or organization to talk about this topic and a lot more, just email him @ Myron.S.Sta.Ana@hotmail.com / Myronosophies@hotmail.com or text/call him at 0927-351-9391 / 368-3214.