I did a survey of the generation of my dad and his friends recently, and I made an interesting discovery. Most of the “fun” guys are still alive, but the serious and really hard working ones are all gone! I have decided not to end up like the latter group.
The vast majority of human beings spend their best years working. Work occupies most lives between the ages of 20 and 60. Work consumes the best of the waking hours of each day. Work straddles 5 out of 7 days of each week. Every working day, most adults will invest 10 hours attending to their work – about 2 hours commuting and 8 hours on the job.
Every year, we spend more time at work and with our co-workers than at home with our family, or out and about with our friends. Work environments and outcomes have a great impact on the health and life of all but the very rich, and the few contented. Work-related stress often mars the peace at home, but the brevity of the rest and comfort at home greatly limits its impact on work. Perhaps tellingly, a worker is most likely to suffer a heart attack between Sunday night and Monday morning. Wow!
So, make the best of your working life, by choosing to enjoy each working day! It is simple but profound advice; don’t ignore it. Sit comfortably; your butt is in that contraption for many hours each day. Take every opportunity to laugh. I can assure you, it is much better than crying. Laugh at your challenges, laugh at your mistakes, laugh with others as they too stumble through situations. Guess what, most of what seems monumental today, will be irrelevant in a few months, if not a few days. The crisis/catastrophe of today will be next year’s dinner joke. That is a long time waiting to enjoy a joke, especially if you will be the subject.
Don’t scrimp on lunch, you have earned it. Eat well and have a large drink, preferably non-alcoholic; it is lunch, not dinner. Try not to eat alone, you may think there is a shortage of good company and hypocrites crouch at every table. Well, dive in, one more wouldn’t hurt the mix 🙂
Thinking of something nice to nibble? Why not buy enough for a dozen. We all enjoy surprise treats, and niceness is really infectious. You may also be interested to know that it will not alter your financial trajectory. If you are going to be poor, middle-income, or rich, that extra few dollars a week or month will not break the bank. But it will make a big difference to the mood in the office.
Enjoy the environment. Don’t wait until you are in an ideal or dream premises. You may be here for a while, so try to enjoy every day of it. A stroll after eating is healthy, and it just might rein in that runaway waist. If you are up for the challenge, take the stairs rather than the lift. If you keep it up, you may have completed the equivalent of a marathon by the end of each year!
Treat your colleagues well. The opposite is like crapping in the village stream. Everyone gets sick eventually. No one likes being treated badly, and most will find a way to get even. However long it takes. Show consideration and compassion to those who struggle. It is really nice to be nice! You will feel good for it, and the beneficiaries will not forget it/you in a hurry. Payback may not come straightaway, but you will have increased the likelihood of experiencing same empathy sometime in the future.
When away from work try to shut down and enjoy life. Spend quality time with your family and friends, remember you came to work so you can maintain your family and keep up with your friends. No one goes to work to find family or to reach friends. If you drop dead tomorrow, your family will be devastated, your friends will be distraught, and your employer will find a replacement. Get your perspective right. If you were to wake up sick tomorrow, make sure that you can take consolation in a truly enjoyable yesterday.
If you don’t like your job, its time to change. Trust me, it is not worth it. Don’t be conned into “living” in the office. Work-life balance is vital. You just about make that on a 9-5, but certainly not on a 9-9. Don’t over-exaggerate your importance or the value of the task at hand, remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint. Retirement these days is granted in the latter 60s, so if you are still in your 20s to 50s, remember, you may have decades yet ahead of you. Take it easy.
Spend a few minutes reading, viewing or listening to things that delight you. Preferably things unrelated to your office work. You will feel reinvigorated after the break, and new ideas may emerge to hitherto intractable problems. Remember to get up and walk once every hour or so. It is good for your legs, bottom, and eyes. You should save yourself for retirement. You will need those arms and legs if you are to enjoy the fruit of your decades of labour.
I have acted to change my perspective; to work smart, not hard, and I hope to be around to enjoy a retirement. I pray you will be there too!
Have a great day, work wise!
Oyewole, Olanrewaju J (Mr.)
Internet Technologies Ltd.
Mobile: +44  793 920 3120
[…] a previous article, “Making the best of your 9-5“, I mentioned my dad. Along with hundreds of other employees of a national monopoly, he was […]