13 July 2012

A Strive To Balance Work And Life

It is break time at work. I sit at my desk with a cup of coffee in my hand and enjoy the pleasant morning. The past few weeks were so hectic and stressful. I was badly tensed up, working 11 hours a day and through the weekends, rushing to meet a project deadline. Fortunately, it all ended a couple of days ago and left me with a gap of a few days to breathe before another task is given.

I take a magazine out of my drawer and flip through the pages. I come across an article talking about ways to improve work-life balance. One of the sentences in the introduction reads, "All of a sudden what used to be your two-year-old child is asking permission to apply for a driver's license or packing a bag to go study abroad and you are left wondering where all the intervening years have disappeared?"

As I read further, my mind starts to wander. Looking back through the many years of my working life in this company, there were good times when work load were not that much and there were times when I had to spend almost 15 hours a day at work chasing deadlines. The worst experience was a day when I had to stay at work for 28 hours.

During the good times, I would work for about 8 to 9 hours. These were the times when I would try my best to prioritize things and improve the balance between work and life, that is health, family, leisure, hobbies and spiritual development. However, I always missed out on hobbies as I would gave them the least priority. Since the kids grew up and started schooling, more and more things needed to be done.

Life would go on nice and smooth until the bad times arrived along with the storm of haste, rush, stress and tension. The good work-life balance would quickly diminished. I would be left with so little time to spend for myself and family. Sometimes I would try to steal some time by sleeping late but unfortunately, tiredness would quickly drove me to bed early.

When the busy days were over, it would be so hard for me to get back to the healthy routine. The exhausted mind and body would prefer to spend more time resting in front of the television with a cup of ice-cream and wouldn't mind watching the lousiest movie. It would take some time before I could get back on my feet and start all over again.

Building a good work-life balance is not a simple task especially for those who don't work fix hours. I think that the best work-balance can only be achieved if we get to do what we love as a job. Time is never enough to do all we want.

Before I could finish reading the work-life balance article, the phone rings. I lazily walk to the telephone. It could be a call for a meeting to discuss about the next coming project, hopefully not another deadly deadline.


  1. You are right. Working in a job you love makes the long hours worthwhile. Or another win-win could be when the boss shows consideration and appreciation for the employee and pays overtime.

  2. KayEm,

    Thank you for your comments. In my case, actually I'm paid for overtime and weekends work but sometimes, it seems not worthwhile when you're left with so little time to spend with the family and when the situation drags on for a while.

  3. To be honest, I would never let that happen...I am very much into the idea of "live every minute of your life with intensity"...If you are unhappy, you should do something about it...But that's just me.

  4. Unikorna,

    Thank you for your comments.
    I agree with you, life is short and we should live to the fullest. The problem is, the only qualification I have is maintaining airplanes. There aren't many airlines or maintenance company that exist in my country. So I don't have much choice unless if I'm willing to work abroad but still, there isn't a promise that I'll get a better work-life balance over there.

  5. I can totally relate to this--I work a full-time job plus 2 part-time jobs and have 4 kids. I am exhausted at the end of the day, but somehow just keep going along. Hardest for me is keeping up with the blogging but that is what I like best and will never give up!

  6. Menopausal mama,

    That sounds really hard - 1 full time job, 2 part time jobs, 4 kids and a blog, and yet your blog is doing so well. You're really a hardworking mother and I shall not complain too much about my situation :)
    Thank you for your comments.

  7. Hi! Just wanted to stop by and say thank you for dropping by my blog the other day.

    Great post topic!

    For me, it's very important that I keep a sense of balance between work and my personal life. Fortunately, I have a job that allows me a lot of freedom to choose the days I work, as long as I get my hours in each week. I feel blessed because it leaves me time to do things like, write, work on my photography, and take some time to just chill.

    And I agree with you, it does help to enjoy your line of work, which I do!

  8. Hi Ron!

    You're very fortunate to have such a job and so much time to do other stuffs that you enjoy. Time is so important that sometimes money just can't buy.

  9. I used to be crazy busy with a full time job and overtime... recently I pulled back and worked a few less days just to get my sanity back. It's worth it.

  10. tfwalsh,

    You have the courage to make the change and I'm glad that you made the right choice. I still have the fear of the other side.

  11. As they say, You work to live and not live to work. We must learn to how balance our work and family. Sometimes money cannot replace the the time we lost with our family especially with kids, they grow up fast.
    Thanks for dropping by on my blog.

  12. lately I only do and have time for what I love. Thanks so much for the comment on my blog. Now following.

  13. Zunnur, forgive me but I'm about to go off topic. I just wanted to let you know that I'm about to post an article on that infamous 1956 water polo match between Hungary and the USSR, the one you flagged up for me in my recent article about Hungary. Many thanks for the lead.

  14. It is in deed hard to find self time. Yet a balance for work, fun and sleep.

    It is always unclear why we do the above as well

  15. Hi Zunnur, work-life balance is a piece of puzzle I struggle to work on each day:) Life is great but like you it is very hectic. All is well on my side of the world and hope it is the same in yours:) keep writing my friend and hope I could post some if I find the time:) God bless always.

  16. Dear Zunnur,

    I can relate to this post utterly. Twelve years ago I made a conscious decision to passionately pursue my writing while still working. It was a difficult journey but one thing I did was widen my network and move to jobs I liked better.

    Today, I am still employed, albeit by an NGO and work part-time (translation and editing)

    During the day I hug my kids, play and pray with my daughters. Deep in the night I write poetry, meet my blogosphere friends and work on my books when I do not have part time assignments. It was difficult but I feel slowly I am getting there. Having an understanding partner really helps.

    All the best.


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