Work-Life Balance

It has been a while since I wrote a “real” blog. For some reason, I feel like writing a formal blog today. (This rarely happens). So, what will today’s topic be about? It will be about the balance between work life and personal life. It is very important to keep these two things balanced. If either one of them tips, it may cause chaos and mayhem in your life. You may not be able to enjoy either work or life itself. The balance between the two is different for everyone. You need the perfect balance, and only you can find your own balance. Once you have this perfect balance, you will be much happier than before.

Firstly, don’t get me wrong, I believe in working hard and in order to be successful you have to work hard to achieve it. There is no doubt about that, but where I draw the line is when work is starting to affect my personal life. I believe in the motto: “Work hard, play harder.”

I’m neither old nor young anymore. I’m in my prime time. This is the time where people truly find themselves and decide what they want to do for their rest of their lives. People go up in the business chain, make career changes, cross things off their bucket-lists, or even get married to their significant other. The key thing here is not what you do but it is happiness that you get from doing it. You yourself, have to know what you want in life. You have to work hard to achieve it. Your goal won’t come in a sliver platter, I wished it did, but it won’t. Life is unfair. So you got to make use of your time and achieve your goal. Time is money.

We only have 24 hours in a day. For the sakes of argument, let’s say for an average working adult, we spend 7 hours sleeping, 8 hours working, which leaves us 9 hours for other things (personal things). In this personal time, it includes working over-time, sleeping more, hobbies, taking showers, eating ramen, etc. The tasks in “personal” can range over various activities. But let’s simplify the equation even more. So in a day, we can either sleep, work, or do personal things. Since we are humans and we need sleep to survive, so sleep is mandatory. Which leaves us two things. Work and personal things. The key thing is keeping balance between them. Too much, or too little of one thing will cause disruption. It is like the Yin and Yang. The perfect balance will bring the most happiness in your life.

The question now is, what to do on your personal time? Some people do over-time, some people go out and hang with friends, and some go on dates. It really depends on the person. For me? I really dislike doing things from the other two categories because I have so little time to do all the things I want to do. There is already a set time for them so I want to do things outside those categories. So during my personal time, I really want to avoid working and sleeping. Not that I dislike working, but I just want to do other things I enjoy doing. Don’t get me wrong, I love coding and making web applications but I just don’t believe in over-time work. As humans, we only have a certain amount of energy to think in a day. Once used up we can’t work anymore. And over years of investigating, we found out that 8 hours is the limit to a human body. Any more is a waste of time. We won’t be as productive anymore because we are mentally tired. If you work anymore, you are just wasting time, and time is money. So you have to learn to be efficient at work and don’t waste time. (That is other topic for other day).

I really hate it when work starts to interfere with my personal life. Sometimes, there is a bug or a release that needs to be done. So some of my personal time is taken away from that. I don’t mind it because that’s a developer role and I chose to be a developer. But there are things that can be avoided at work such as arranging meetings after work hours. Sometimes it isn’t possible to have a meeting during work-hours due to time differences. But really, work should stay during work hours; if it is not then we lack planning and time management. As a worker, I like to be given notices in advance, so I have time plan for it. This is also the same for personal life. When you want to hang out with a person, you may have to ask days in advance or they might have other plans. Work is the same way. You can’t assume people are free all the time. People have a life. We have families, friends to meet. It is good to work hard, but always give time to your loves ones. Give time to your family and friends. Don’t take them for granted. I know couples broke up because one of them was a workaholic, and didn’t give enough time for each other. Which caused a disruption in their life. Friendships were lost because some people were just too “busy” for them and just didn’t have time to care for others. I think this is a very bad thing.

People are social beings; we don’t want to be alone in this world. And to be not alone is to have friends and family. We can’t be close to our friends and family during work hours, we have to do it off-work hours which is in our personal time. Nobody will remember our presentations, our line of codes, or how much money we made for our company during our funeral. Have you ever saw a tombstone that said “Best developer in Company XYZ”. No! You haven’t. It always says, “beloved husband, brother, son”. People who attend your funeral will remember you as a friend or as a family member. Even your co-workers attending your funeral will remember you by how you acted and behaved in the company and how you affected their lives. Not by the presentation you gave or the number of sales you made. (Fine, maybe they do if you do an awesome job). But the question is how do you want to be remembered? Do you want to be remembered as the guy who did the most sales in a company? Or be the caring father? For me, it’s and easy decision. It’s to be a caring father. On my tombstone, I want it to say “A Loving Husband, and a caring Father” (Something along those lines). I don’t need world fame, or my name to be remembered for centuries to come. I want to be remembered by my family and friends and how I made an impact on their life. Hopefully I made their life a bit more enjoyable.

As I always say, we have to enjoy life while we can. Life is short. You don’t want to live life with regrets. The only way to do so is to have a good balance between work and personal life. Don’t let work take over you life. Go out and have fun! Enjoy life while we are young and healthy!!

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