WORK-LIFE Balance... is there such a thing?

Over the past week, I spoke to thirty different people in the effort to write an article which offers some real insight to the title in question. A few of them are part-time workers, some are heads of companies, others are entrepreneurs and two of them work in retail. I must admit, the entrepreneurs and company heads are the groups that had the hardest time trying to maintain a work-life balance. But is there such a thing?

One of my mentors said to me that endeavouring for such a balance is just rubbish, since within each part of the day there are pockets of breaks which can be used for whatever one wishes. Think of it: the meeting that gets postponed; the phone call that finishes half hour early or the entire day that you complete every task you wanted and it’s only four o’clock. What do you do with the extra time? Some just continue working.  While that may be admirable, your spouse or your family members may not tip their hat off to you. Said mentor states that when he gets extra time that wasn’t pre-planned, he calls his wife or he takes a quick drive to his mother’s house to see how she’s getting along. You may think this is a simplistic view of things, especially when it always seems like there’s not enough time in the day.  However, I’d say this, whether you believe it or not: you are in control of your time. Always.

There’s a paramedic who says to me she could never leave work for a simple drive, since lives depend on her duty.  But what about the entire hour for lunch? She usually goes to a fast-food outlet, lines up for about twenty minutes, eats her food at the restaurant and then drives back to work. Think about this: what about packing lunch the night before, eating it in the first twenty-five minutes of your lunch hour and then having an entire thirty-five minutes to do whatever you like?  One of the men I had the privilege to speak to is a chef who now owns four restaurants. He still is crazy-busy but he tells me that no one comes to him with any professional requests between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on Saturdays or Sundays. You see, he is also a father. This time is catered for his two sons and wife. Sometimes, they go to the country for a picnic; sometimes they simply spend the day at home watching movies; sometimes they go to the beach…you get my drift, right? 

Time control and work-life balance is available if you want it. Look at your schedule. Look at each hourly segment of your day. Are you making the best use of your time in every way? Think about it, plan carefully and enjoy both work and play, without letting one get in the way of the other!

Lots of love & good vibes, Veoma Ali

Veoma Ali is an Advertising Executive, with a Ph.D in Communications and a Masters in Business Administration.