Some Thoughts On Work Life Balance

Starting another entry on the go as I head to Bugis for a Saturday pre lunch workout!

A topic/subject that has been very close to my heart and which I have made as one of my key 2014 resolutions – Work Life Balance.

What prompted this entry was the below which I chanced on a blog earlier in the week ……

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My usual workflow habit for the past couple of years has always been to hit office (on non-appointment days) after lunch from 2pm onwards, and work late till 8pm at least (7pm would be considered early). Even earlier departure on workout/running days. So this gives me at best 5-6 hours in office, plus given the 1 hour commute to Beach Road, 1/2 day easily whizzes by without managing to do much productive work. In fact there are days where I could well possibly be more productive working from home (since 2 hours is saved on traveling).

Thus it has always been a long term goal for me to overhaul my bio-clock and sleep patterns, so that I can start the day earlier, and get more done in the day. Another motivation would be the health aspect of it, as a more ‘normal’ bed time and earlier waking hours helps me lose weight 😛

Of course the most important motivation is that I have my evenings free for work appointments, daily workouts and runs, family time, time to catch up and re-connect with friends – while still getting in 6 hours in the office on a non-appointment day.  In the past, the old me had always thought that I can compensate by staying late beyond 8pm. But that leaves me tired (after late dinner and the 1 hour commute home) and the cycle repeats again and again. The need to really change and overhaul my bad work habits accumulated over the years came acutely after my Japan trip where I had the time to think through what I really want going forward, and the life I ideally want to live. And the action plan to make it happen 🙂

What further prompted this entry also was my observation of seeing SS work late for the past week in office. Due to whatever reason, they usually reach office around lunchtime or after lunch, and are the late night owls that stay beyond 9pm. On first impression, you would think they are hardworking reps who are dedicated to their work, and have a lot of clients to serve – thus the late night hours. But from some time last year (2013) onwards, after our move back to Shenton Way, I have come to realize that it is more likely that they are not as efficient and effective as others would think they are, as versus to the impression they are giving off. So this is one thing I must never learn from these so-called achiever(s)- and also a push factor for me to change before its too late!

From there  I can understand better now why one of my clients elect to bring work home to do rather than stay late (so that he gets family time at the dinner table with his girls before retreating to his study room).  And essentially I have came around to lugging my laptop home again everyday (changed back to using the Acer document bag so that the load is lighter) in order to catch up on work (comparisons, research, email) and do my travel blogs. So no more leaving office beyond 8 to 830pm on most days. Thursday is a departure from norm as I went back office to collect my laptop after appointment – while on the way home.

As much as I should be spending more time with clients outside rather than being in office (another key motivation for the change) – the original 3 days per week in office rule as I have originally intended is not practical anymore as business activities have increased now the festive season (Christmas and Chinese New Year) is over and we are going into the last lap of the banding year. I have been diligently noting down my timings (sleep, wake up, leaving home etc.) in my little diary …… This has the effect of making me more mindful of how I spend my time. And am happy to note that I have been improving on my sleep-wake cycle and getting to office earlier. Still some way away from the ideal wake up 8am, reach office at 1030am to 11am target …… but am definitely working towards it! Hope to report my progress on this blog as I go along ……

Note: Finished this up on Sunday 16 Feb 2014 before heading out for lunch.

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