Sunday, May 11, 2008

Work to Live

This weekend seems to be a little special, where the conversation revolves around work, and how its taking over our personal time. Thought I would like to pen down some thoughts on this.

I belong to a rare group of people who loves what they are doing. I believe majority of the people, especially in Singapore, do not love their jobs. They are doing it mostly for one reason only... Survival. This dates back to olden days where we have to farm land, grow our own food, do barter trading, etc. Now, its just taking place in another form.

Believe it or not, whether you love your job, or you just work because you have to, there's no difference in managing your time in the office.

Due to the intense competition coming out from developing countries like China and India, workers are tasked with more and more things to do to meet the competition. Either that, or the workers have to start doing things that they have never done before. All these because of differentiation. Differentiating the products and services will ensure survival of the business. In another words, businesses now are trying to innovate new products and services. Some of the work we are currently doing, people can get it done in China or India for less than half the price. To survive, one has to innovate.

This results in people working more intensely, and for longer hours. This, in the long run, is detrimental to one's mental health. I include those who love what they are doing, namely me. Anybody is only productive for a certain number of hours a day. Therefore for our current working generation, one has to split up work and play very strictly.

Outside working hours, once you have knocked off, do not think about work. This disrupts your whole work-life balance, and in the end, it will lead to mental stress. Once you have knocked off, start thinking what to do when you get home, or where you wish to go to relax a bit.

Yes, that's my trick of staying within sanity. Let's say I knock off at 8+pm. The moment I stepped out of office, I will empty my mind on the current problems I have (Naturally, you should note down what you need to do in the office, so you can remember it the next day.). I will start thinking on what I'm going to do when I get home. Be it playing my guitar, or playing my NWN2. Or maybe I will think about what to do for the weekend. I'll try my very best not to think of work. In the weekends, I'll try my best not to touch work at all.

Yes... It's difficult to do at first, but it can be done. Doing this will help you to also remind yourself why you're working. We work to live, not live to work. This is especially important for those who work for survival. We spend more than half of our waking moments in the office. Why do you want to make yourself feel so glum for more than half your waking moments? The fact is that very soon, you'll just feel glum all the way because it will just overcome you. Doing this will result in you going into office fresh, without any burden. After you get into office, then you start thinking about work stuff. So far it works for me. With a clearer mind, the answers will also come easier to you.

Remember the golden rule. Never talk (or talk as little as possible) about work during your personal time. It keeps your sanity... Now, I have a few more hours for my playtime. :)

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