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Nov 12

Balance: How to Make the Most Out of Time at Work and at Home

balance

Are you giving enough time for your family after a hard day’s work?

“Work is just a part of our Life, not vice versa. So Live life full time, work work, part time.”
― Vikrmn, Guru with Guitar

A former boss once told me that if I really want to make it to the top and climb the corporate ladder at the quickest time possible that I have to stay behind and spend longer time in the office.

Perhaps this was his way of telling me to stop going home on the dot because I was never a fan of staying behind even if I don’t have anything to do anymore and honestly, I find that piece of advice rather hypocritical.  If you’re staying behind because you just want to give a good impression rather than doing actual work then that is pointless.

This has been the most common criticism I’ve been receiving in all 15 years of my career.

“He always goes on time.”

“He leaves early.”

“It’s unbecoming of a leader.”

Well, I never listened to these “smart” people.  Some people are just really good at passing judgment especially if what you’re doing does not conform to their beliefs.  I get that.  But I’m not a show off and my day in the office is over as soon as I’m done with all of my responsibilities which I make sure I finish each and every time.

I’m not ready to trade my for my family just to earn some bonus points and turn corporate heads.  What good is money and title if your children barely knew you.

Just this past month, I experienced what I would consider the busiest three weeks of my career.  I was working for three consecutive weekends and I was going home late that I only got to talk to my daughter Shae on Saturdays.

You see when I get home, she’s already asleep and when she leaves in the morning, I’m the one who’s asleep.  Unlike my daughter Kylie who I still get to see late at night when I arrive While she’s still doing her homework and my son Keon who I get to see in the morning before he goes to school, Shae only got to see me over the weekend and I can see how excited she was after not seeing me for five days.

For me, that’s just sad.  Even more sad is when you hear your children ask you:

“You’re working again?”

The good news is, this does not happen a lot.  Once or twice a month at most unlike those working on higher positions who almost does not have sleep and whose health is already being compromised.  I don’t want that kind of life.

I’m not trying to be choosy or anything given our financial status but for the love of God, that’s not healthy.  It’s not healthy physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Some people say, there’s no such thing as work-life balance and to some degree, that would probably be correct because when we say balance, both sides should be of equal weight but if you look closely, 9 hours in the office plus 2 hours of commute leaves you with 13 hours with your family.  And yeah, sleep is not yet deducted from the 13 hours and realistically, for those working in corporate, you’ll be lucky to have a 9-hour workday once in a while.

We probably can’t balance work and family life but I there are ways to make the most our of the time you spend for both.  Here’s how:

 

Be Present Wherever You Are

Some people can really be funny sometimes when it comes to work and family.  When they’re in the office, they can’t think of anything else but going home.  They clock in, do some stuff here and there, but spend most of their time looking at the clock, counting each second until 5 PM comes.

Ironically, some people I know would go home hurriedly just so he or she can resume work there.  Are you kidding me?

As the great Jim Rohn once said, be present where you are.  Be there where you should be.  If you are at work, be at work (your mind that is) and if you are at home, be at home.  You have to set boundaries when it comes to work and family life.  You have to be fair both to the company that puts food on your table and to the family who yearns for your love and attention.  You have to give your 100% during the time you spend with each of them.

When you get home, drop everything.  Talk to the kids, ask them about their day at school.  Ask your spouse about his or her day instead of lying on the couch to watch television until you fall asleep.

This is simple.  If you are at work, be an employee and if you are at home, be spouse or a parent.  Don’t try to cheat the two because if you ever do, it will always be you who will come out on the losing end.

 

Build your work around your life and not the other way around

One of the ways to achieve balance is to design a lifestyle that gives you enough time for both work and home.  This is where technology comes in handy because today, remote work or working from home is already a common practice among large companies.  If you are a parent, this is absolutely something that will benefit you because you’ll be able to do your job while raising your children.

Family and home should always be our priority.  Work should adjust to your family life but the problem is, most people do the opposite.  They build their lives around their work.  They give everything to their job and leave their family whatever is left.

Your kids need you.  Your husband or wife longs for you.  They should be the priority and not the job.  What good is a mansion on top of the hill without someone to live with?  What good is money and material things without someone to share it with?  What good is a title or position without someone to celebrate it with?

 

Work as if You’re Going on Vacation the Next Day

One of the Zig Ziglar talks I love was the one where he mentioned how much a person can accomplish on his or her last day at work before vacation because it’s absolutely true.

You come to work early, plan all of your tasks for the day, get rid of the more difficult ones immediately, you avoid “water cooler conversations” as much as you can, and take less breaks.

Imagine if you can carry that same mindset everyday and how productive you can be.  Like I said, it’s pointless to stay behind and go home late if you can accomplish everything within 9 hours.

 

Take Time Off and Make the Most Out of it

All work and no play makes one a dull kid and when I say play I mean relaxation.  Go to the mall, go on a vacation, do a physical activity together, enjoy your time with each other.

Once-in-a-while, you also have to take a break and rejuvenate especially if you’ve been through a “toxic” stretch.

After the three grueling weekends I mentioned above, I took two days off but I stayed home.  I slept with my kids in the afternoon and watched movies with them.  I Played with them.  That’s my way of getting back those three weekends I’ve lost.

I live by the principle to live each day as if it was your last.  I really believe that because life is short and you’ll never know when your time is up.  Time is such a precious commodity because you cannot get back lost time.

My kids will only be kids once and I wanna be there to see that happen.  I don’t care what other people may say, I don’t care if I don’t get a raise, and I don’t care if it cost me a promotion.

Balance is difficult to meet but if you know how to play your cards right and you know your priorities, it wouldn’t be that hard.  Just ask yourself, what do you want and what will make you happy.  If you have the answer, you’ll know what to do.

 

Over to You

Is balance something you’re struggling to make?  Do you have enough time for your family without compromising your job?

I would love to hear from you so feel free to leave a comment or share your stories with me.

You can also share this content via twitter.

 

Noel Rosos

About Noel Rosos

Noel is a husband, father, author, performance coach and self-proclaimed FAILUROLOGIST who helps business owners and struggling individuals convert their failures into opportunities through inspiring blog posts, life-changing books and exceptional one-on-one coaching sessions

15 comments

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  1. I am Dan

    totally, totally agree with this post.. also those people who stays in the office for 10-12 hr or so just to look good, they don’t even put in 8 hrs of actual work.. most of their time are in the pantry, taking breaks, yosi breaks, coffee breaks, cr breaks.. all kinds of breaks.

    Whenever possible i try to be HOT. I learn to ignore what people say when i leave at 5. I believe i put on more work than many of the people in the corporate

    1. Noel Rosos
      Noel Rosos

      Are we working in the same workplace Dan?

      I know many people can identify with our experience because this is old-school thinking. No point in staying if you have nothing to do right?

      Have a great weekend dude and thank you for stopping by!

  2. Ethan Bridges

    Hi Noel,

    The “balance” could be a struggle to achieve, especially whenever getting home after a long day–we could be really tired and all to sometimes even pay attention or play with the kids.

    You’ve definitely presented great points, here. I loved “building work around life and not the other way around.”

    One more thing is that family time could just stay in our head, and fail miserably because we get tired, or simply don’t have time–all because of work routine. We must make time for family. We must plan things our energy would be spent on. We plan not only to be physically there, but also to savor every moment when we’re there–the mind, body and soul should be ready for family :)

    Thanks for sharing your story!

    1. Noel Rosos
      Noel Rosos

      Thanks Ethan. You’re spot on with the “savor the moment” phrase because this is the whole point. We can be at home physically but our minds are still at work which is unfair for our families.

      Have a great weekend.

  3. I am Dan

    You’re welcome! Appreciate all your post! Where do you work? I generalize, I think most employee do those anyways.

  4. I am Dan

    I did a quick google, i see you’re with citibank from linkedin. I heard good things about citibank.

  5. Sheena Yap Chan

    love the tips you shared to make the most out of your day. thanks

  6. Kahnie

    Great post Noel! I really like the part about “working as if it is your last day at work before vacation”, that makes a lot of sense because you do get more work done.

    1. Noel Rosos
      Noel Rosos

      Thanks Kahnie! Yes, I’ve learned that from the great Zig Ziglar and it has been very effective in getting things done because you’re excited and prepared. Glad you liked it!

  7. Annalize

    Noel, there is always the pull between family and work. You have the right principles; our society has this way of building life around work. Luckily you can work at it and change it around to building your work around your life, because you have an open mindset and will be able to make a success of it! Love the way you are able to spend quality time around your children!

    1. Noel Rosos
      Noel Rosos

      Thanks Annalize! You know what they say, if you really want something, you will find a way. I came across a podcast where they said that you can’t really be successful in both career and family and that you have to sacrifice one. Somehow I believe that because people who work really hard spend more time at work and even if they could squeeze in a couple of hours at home, the quality of those hours may not be as good as families would expect. My family would always come in front of work. It’s just a matter of prioritizing what you want most.

  8. Sandra

    My husband’s one condition to accept his current job was that he would be allowed to work from home whenever possible.
    Luckily he got that, and although he is really working, and has meetings, those days he can have lunch with us (me and his daughter) or just stay a bit later in the morning and drop her off at school, it make it all worth it.

    Too bad that people only see that he is not at the office and they gossip.

    If I ever have my own company I will pay people for their work, not their time. If you finish your work in 2 12 hour days, or 5 2 hour days… I don’t care. Finish the work, however and whenever you want!

    1. Noel Rosos
      Noel Rosos

      Thanks Sandra! Don’t forget to hire me when your company’s up. I am a lot like your husband in that we value the time we spend with family. It is really up to us how we can build our jobs around our life instead of the other way around. I agree, output is more important regardless of the time you spend doing your job. I will certainly go for jobs like that. Can I send my resume to you already just in case?

      Have a great weekend!

  9. Stephanie D'Laroy

    Great post Noel, I definitely believe that work should revolve around your life and not the other way around. Sadly alot of people do the opposite. Thanks for sharing :)

    1. Noel Rosos
      Noel Rosos

      Thanks Stephanie!

      Yes, most of the time it’s the opposite and what makes it even more sad is that sometimes we can’t do anything about it and we’re forced in a corner.

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