I work to live, and life ……..will I live!

There are interactions between work and life activities, as a matter of fact, almost half of my time is spent on work or work-related activities (traveling, traffic, working at home, discussing work, etc.). An aspect of attaining work-life balance and interaction is being able to create some fun and joy around the workplace. I understand that this can be difficult to do especially when working in a hostile work environment but it is not impossible to achieve.
There is also another aspect to work-life balance that completely distinguishes work from other life concerns and engagements. This involves engaging in other life activities with happiness and fulfillment even with the burden of excessive work. And that's my focus on this piece. Here's how I manage the work-life balance

1. First Impression - as a new employee, all eyes are on you. First impression counts a lot and the first few opinions made about you may sometimes determine the course of your career in an organization. It is also important that new employees go an extra mile to get the job done. Show some eagerness and willingness to learn and adapt. Pay your dues when you are still new in an organizational as your learning curve is still pretty high at that stage. Don’t be quick to glance at your wristwatch in board meetings when your closing time draws near. This is the best time to create a reputation for yourself as a performer, achiever and a hardworking staff.

2. I set my priorities - I know and recognize the most important things in my life. The earlier you know your priorities, the earlier you can work out your goals around them. For me  besides my relationship with  God, the most important things in my life are family, work-life balance, career aspirations, investment, money and career counseling in that order. One of the reasons I quit my first job for another was not necessarily because the pay was higher, but because it offered me a better working environment where I can freely engage in other important things of life (the work-life interaction). The clearer you understand your purpose, the easier for you to make decisions. Sometimes, that decision may involve rejecting a seemingly attractive offer, a promotion, an investment opportunity or any other tempting proposal. Knowing your priorities enables you to know your limits.

3. Learning new skills of interest - I try to learn skills that I'm particularly interested in. For instance, I love piano but I cannot play. And I intend buying one in the near future. I will probably enroll in a music school to learn this instrument. I am also trying to learn one major foreign language maybe French, This will be challenging though because I find it difficult picking up Languages.
Swimming is another skill I am currently learning. Swimming is about practice. The more you practice, the better you are at it. I would like to learn Karate or Taekwondo but that might be sometimes in the future. I already have my hands full.

4. I cultivated a culture of savings and investment - The ability to save does not depend on the amount earned. It's a habit that can be developed. I earned N9,500 only as a corps member despite that, I still saved monthly. It will shock you that I never borrowed a single kobo during my NYSC despite the ridiculously low income. I have learnt to always save part of my monthly earnings, and that is a practice that has stuck to me till date. I always strive not to live above my means.
But it is not enough to save. Money should also be used for investment purposes. I look out for investment opportunities and try to sow some investment seeds that can grow and fetch more money for me. It is always good to explore other alternative sources of income. Aside the extra income it can potentially generate, it gives a sense of personal fulfillment to see money working for you. It also means another engaging activity that often takes your mind off work.

5... But I also spoil myself - life is too short to divert all your money on savings and investment. After all, today is yesterday's tomorrow. Today is the only day you have got. Tomorrow is still unknown. Why become so obsessed about saving for a tomorrow that may never come? This means that it is paramount that I enjoy myself today. If I earn well, I should also enjoy a bit of it.
Once in a while I spoil myself, it is good to learn how to be happy by yourself. You don't have to wait for people to buy you gifts. If you have some extra income, spoil yourself with gifts. Go for vacations in choice locations. Visit best restaurants in town once in a while. Simply put - ENJOY.

Enjoyment is key to fulfillment, at least in my case.