0176C: Finding Your Work Life Balance

The irony is not lost on me that pretty much right after writing a rather fluffy piece in line with the #100HappyDays initiative, I find my own positive outlook on life somewhat tested by last night's work shift. This is considering that I woke up too early at 06:00pm for a conference call that I was taking from home at 10:00pm and yet still reporting for work by around 01:00am. Plus all the crazy things that happened to day and the buzzer beater deadlines along with last minute tasks that sort of came out of nowhere. But hey, I'm still standing, so I'm not quite defeated yet.

A few things of note in terms of possible strategies for coping with work stress:

Keep Work Separate - Too many people "bring home" work-related stress and continue to dwell on them more than they should. This is not to say that you can't work from home (but I must state this is far from ideal) but work should only go so far. You can't exactly fix all your work-related problems immediately. Things will always take time, especially when they involve other people or even your clients. Thus the goal for every work day is to do everything that you feasibly can as related to your deadlines, but be prepared to go home when there is nothing left for you to do. This is not giving up. This is choosing your battles based on your abilities and making sure you don't over-exert yourself to the point of making yourself ill. It never pays off in the long term.

Understand Your Priorities - We all work to make a living. We all think that we could use more money. We all want to do a good job...or at the very least not get fired. But work is but a small aspect of your life and should never dominate things. There are so many other things that are more important in life such as your significant other, your family, your health, your personal dreams and desires, among others. Work is a means to an end - it helps us to earn enough money to do the things that we really want to do with our loved ones. So at the end of a long day at the office, I just need to think about playing games with Tobie or cuddling on the couch with Yoshi to help keep my spirits up.

Know Your Limits - Admittedly, there are times when you're stuck in a job that you're really not good at. That's a constant source of stress in itself! I'm not saying quit right away, but do consider your performance and determine why you're not successful. Is this because you don't have the right skills for the job? Are you having difficult time with your immediate superior? Is the work to easy to the point of boring you? Job fit is a critical factor in morale and employee happiness. When you hate your job, every work day takes a Herculean effort to just drag your body from home to the office. Don't punish yourself like that. Either find another role in the company or start considering options outside.

Celebrate Your Passions - Every free moment that I get is spent with Tobie, for the most part. Even if it just means the two of us sitting around the dining table as we work on our respective computers while watching a TV show, or partying with friends at O Bar, we make the most of our weekends. Try to invest a good part of your free time into things that you are passionate about. Maybe you need a quick out-of-town jaunt to catch your breath. Or maybe you're like us and want to spend a night playing various board games or tabletop RPGs with friends. Only you can define this, really.

Be Patient and Understanding - Everyone is dealing with various sources of stress whether at home or at work. Never assume that you have the exclusive rights to complain about feeling stressed out. Sure you can share your pain with your friends and loved ones, but also be ready to share in theirs. Don't try to vent on other people for no god reason - that's just wrong. Keeping a more open mindset about other people will help keep things in perspective and ultimately give you greater peace of mind.

As for me, I needed to decongest from last night by writing about it in the form of this blog post. And I've already spent some time cuddling with Yoshi, who is asleep at my feet. So now I plan on crawling into bed with Tobie and get as much cuddle time as I can before either I fall alseep or he has to leave for work, whichever comes fi