The Importance of a Work/Life Balance

The Importance of a Work/Life Balance

Don’t confuse a career with a life…” Anonymous

In the days of Yahoo, Google, Vipshop, Viber, Alphabet and Baidu, people tend to feel that company names are trivial, whimsical and usually, meaningless.

But FIVE19 Creative’s name personifies a critical element of the company philosophy, that of work-life balance. Our owner, Derek Machado’s daughter, was born on 5/19/05.

Derek was making a statement in establishing his daughter as a priority in both his business and personal life. He says, “At FIVE19 Creative, we strive for a work-life balance that allows for team growth and intellectual development. Our family first philosophy even carries over into our relationships with our clients, it is what builds bonds that go beyond concepts and campaigns.”

We are just one business making work-life balance a priority. Arianna Huffington, editor of the Huffington Post, in her book, Thrive, relates how she came to realize the importance of work-life balance after collapsing at her office one day from pure exhaustion. A broken cheekbone and gash over her eye were the proof she needed to change her lifestyle forever

You may argue that giving 110 percent to your career is how you get to be the best, how you reach the top. Why not just pour every ounce of energy you have into being the best at what you do? Because, in addition to your physical and mental health, there are other reasons to reconsider your use of time. A career is not a life. The real meaning of your life may be inexorably connected to family, community, church, or just the broadening of your own mind, or just personal growth, developing constantly into a better, greater you. That can’t be accomplished in a one dimensional life.

Here are some ways to finding and keeping balance.

First, if your values are clear, your decisions are easy. Not sure what smart person said that but it’s a great way to filter what you are doing with your precious time and energy.

So identify those values. What is most precious to you? Be it children, spouse, parents, exercise, healthy eating, prayer, work, personal growth or education, write them down in order of importance to you. What would you give up? What must you have?

I’m sure if you have spouse or children you would say they are the most important things in your life. Yet, how much of your day-week goes to them? Relationships don’t exist in a vacuum- they are like plants. Leave them with no water for a week and they die. And speaking of children, they are only in your life for a precious few years. The contact you have with your young child frames the rest of their life. There may be no greater impact you can make on the world than to spend time with them as they develop. And no greater loss than their relationship with you if you neglect them when they are young.

Then begin to schedule. What gets put on the calendar gets done. What doesn’t get booked is lost. So book time on your calendar for yourself, your family, your romantic life, friends, etc. While you have to book a certain amount of time for your job, the rest of your week can be scheduled to your personal life in the proportion of how important that activity is on your values scale.

Remember though, that while you may value your kids more than your own health, without time for exercise, vitamins, rest, you won’t be around long enough to care for them. Or you may be so stressed out from work that you can’t give them your best self. Children tend to love their grandparents because they have “time to listen to them.”

How about booking time to think? Instead of running like hamster on a wheel, take time to think. What are you doing? Are you running in the right direction? Is there an easier way to accomplish your goals or a better way to solve some problem that is eating at you? Many famous people use the first ten-fifteen minutes of waking consciousness in the morning, to lie there and think things through. I leave a notebook by my bedside at night, so that brainstorms available in the morning get jotted down before the day takes over.

Where did the time go? To measure where your time is really going keep track for one week, nights and weekends included. Did you get 7-8 hours of sleep? Did you actually get in the exercise you put on your schedule? Which of the most important people in your life did you have a real conversation with? Time is the one thing you can never get more of, so it’s good to know where it’s actually gone. You can make promises to yourself but seeing your week in the rearview mirror will show you what is actually happening.

In addition, you might schedule some time for nothing. Can you imagine that? Such a radical idea. Time to just be, time to experience this one extraordinary day that will never happen again in your life.