It’s Monday early morning all over again. The list is long, the day is short and the performance expectations are very high. This, that; here, there; meetings everywhere; due dates pilling up. Phones ringing, emails pinging, text messages racing – and the hands of time seem to be oblivious to your pleas for mercy.
Today’s list transforms into something else and becomes the starting point for tomorrow’s. Tuesday, same deal. Wednesday, Thursday and finally … TGIF.
One problem, though. You feel compelled to work a little on Saturday and you do … often. The sudden rationalization of having to devote more time on Sunday festers, and you do once more at the expense of other things, important things.
It’s Monday morning all over again. Your evening is likely beckoned as well by the call to produce, to complete and to deliver your work product.
January, then June, now December. One year, then five, then 20 pass. Now you’re 40+ years young and wondering where the time has gone. The missed birthdays, anniversaries and those bypassed special moments with your spouse, children, family and friends – and equally as important, with yourself – are all gone, never to return. They surely are missed opportunities.
Understandably, some work requirements will require serious time commitments on your part. That’s the nature of a professional's life. Check. Got it. Devoting chunks of personal time to your job and profession often is a necessity, a rite of passage, a requirement.
The warning signs surface, however, when you fall into the trap of believing that every request, every commitment and every task must be managed through the utilization of, in part, personal time.
You were younger when you started reading this post, and you’ll be older than you are right now by the end of this sentence.
— J.A. Rodriguez Jr.
That’s called an imbalance, and imbalances cause undue stress and ultimately performance and relationship issues. Work-life imbalances also bring on questions, serious questions, later in your career. The ones that turn your perspective upside-down and right-side up at the same time.
Achieving balance means achieving stability, and a stable foundation leads to better way of life for most professionals.
As work-focused and unbalanced time passes, is there success along the way? Well, that depends on how you define success.
Everyone's definition is somewhat different, so rather than measuring success by your previous or present definition, consider measuring it as a time continuum whose allocation is a balance of all that’s important, both personal and professional.
Think of it this way: The fact is you were younger when you started reading this post, and you’ll be older than you are right now by the end of this sentence.
The present is but a moment in time with the power to forever define the successes of the past and those of the future.
The question then becomes: Have you invested this time, right now – the present – in a way that will help you meet your definition of success?
Have you invested this time, right now – the present – in a way that will help you meet your definition of success?
— J.A. Rodriguez Jr.
There’s an easy way to arrive at an answer by considering this question: Have your recent time investments helped you move the work-life balance needle closer to the center, or at least helped you reach a point of realization?
If yes, then your time was well-invested. If not, your time-allocation processes might not be performing at their maximum efficiency level. Anything that’s performing at less than maximum efficiency creates undue waste … and waste is, well, a waste of time.
So here we are, thinking about what was and performing a value-based assessment to determine return on investment on a non-renewable commodity – time. After all, what other commodity on earth is more valuable?
Time is so precious and limited that I have invested mine today in the hopes of extending something very special … a gift for you. An opportunity, an awareness to develop a different kind of list from the one generated yesterday, and to do so every day so that, as time passes, you know exactly where it’s gone with minimal waste (regrets).
Think of it as the gift of balance, where the past influences the present toward the fulfillment of a bright and sustained fruitful future.
Dare to think differently.