work life balance for DBAs

In a world where we believe we are required to be available 24/7, achieving work-life balance seems daunting. We feel the need to respond to emails after hours, we feel the need to check on things at work, we feel the need to be “plugged in”.

Have you ever asked yourself what is the cost of doing this? Your mind always being engaged, connected to work?

I see people everyday running around from meeting to meeting, being busy, in a hurry, multitasking to achieve more (only to realize that actually multitasking doesn’t do them any good!)
I see people eating their lunches on the run, working through lunch hours, staying late in the office, being late at the kids soccer game, or even not making it at all.

It seems to me that many of us are out of balance in our life.

After all what does work-life balance mean?

From my experience, work-life balance means a different thing for each individual.

1.What Happens When We Work Too Much?
2.Why Is It Important To Have Balance In Your Life?
3.What Does Work-Life Balance Mean To You?
4.How To Maintain Work-Life Balance?
5.Do You Mean I Should Not Work Overtime Anymore?

1.What Happens When We Work Too Much?

How do you feel after a day of working on a few projects, very focused, with no time for breaks? On a scale of 1 to 10, (1 being very tired, and 10 being full of energy), I would say 5.
That is not so bad I hear you saying.

Now, lets pretend after the same day, you go home, and you put in extra 2 hours of work in the evening. Then you repeat for a week, or maybe two.

NOW, How do you feel?

Exhausted. If 0 would be on the scale, I would pick that one, as that is how much energy I’d have left.

When we work too much, without taking breaks for ourselves we become exhausted, way too tired.
When we are too tired, we become snappy, we lose our patience with ourselves and others, colleagues, friends and family.
When we work too much, we complain more often.
When we work too much, we become disconnected with ourselves and others.
When we work too much, we suffer and our relationships suffer.

2.Why Is It Important To Maintain Balance In Your Life?

I have a simple answer for this: TO BE HAPPY!

When you are happy, people around you are happy, your friends, your family, your loved ones! When you’re happy, you are feeling good, awesome, full of energy!
Happiness attracts more happiness and good in your life!

3.What Does Work-Life Balance Mean To You?

Balance for me, means to enjoy my work as long as I am at work.
Be able to take my lunch hour break, and workout at the gym during that time.
Have the afternoon and evening for my family, free of disruptions.
Balance means to live in the moment, giving 100% attention to the task I am doing. When I am at work, focus on work. When I am with my family, focus on my family.

What does having balance mean to you? Leave your answer in the comments section below!

4.How To Maintain Work-Life Balance?

Does balance seems unattainable for you?
What can you do to put some equilibrium back into your life?

  • A. Put yourself first before anything else.
    I can’t stress how important this is. If your thing at lunch is to go for a 30 min walk, then, you don’t let meetings take away that from you.
    If you leave work at 4:00 pm everyday, don’t accept meeting from 4:00 – 5:00 pm.
  • B. Unplug
    When you’re not on-call, there is no reason to check email at work, or answer emails in the evening. There is always another day to work some more.
  • C. Leave work where it belongs, at work.
    On your commute home, whether your driving, taking the bus, train or subway, try to relax, leave the challenges at work. Listen to your favorite music, read a book, learn about something new.
  • D. Get moving
    Break your work day by going for a walk, going to the gym, anything that would get you moving.
    If you are sitting all day, moving at lunch time is needed. For me personally working out, takes priority over anything else.
  • E. Spend quality time with your family.
    Dedicate special time with your kids and spouse, they need you, and you need them. As humans, one of our needs is to feel connected.
    If you must work from home after hours, do it after you have spent time with the loved ones. It will be easier and much enjoyable.
    These posts I am writing, come to light in the late evening hours, way after my family is sleeping.

5.Do You Mean I Should Not Work Overtime Anymore?

No.
I am not saying that.

Life happens. There will be times when work gets hectic, and you will be required to put in extra hours. Just don’t make this the norm!

It is not OK to work 10h days for weeks and weeks.
It is not OK to work through lunch, day after day.
It is not OK to not take vacation!

Remember, there will always be work the next day, there is no shortage of it!

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–Diana


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