Monday, February 8, 2016


Earlier today I read an article about a young copy writer from another country who passed away after working overtime for 3 straight days. The article also featured her tweets about how often she did this and oftentimes drank vodka and Red Bull while doing overtime to keep her going. My heart broke.

One of my earlier jobs required me to render overtime often. We'd always have evening events and were required to attend. My Mom would always stay up to wait for me and remind me that I should rest. When I shifted jobs and became a product manager I was required to travel and give trainings across the country. My Mom then told me that I was working too hard and I should rest. My work just eventually got busier and busier and my Mom just kept reminding me to relax and rest.

As I aged my body changed too, but one of then things I made sure I did not do was render overtime. I was a single Mom until Miguel was 15 years old and I made it a point to always be home. There were times I'd still have to be out late, but I tried not to do this often. As I was growing up my parents were both always home before the sun set. I didn't understand why back then, but now I know that they wanted to be home early for family time.

Discipline. When I started working at home back in 2006 I disciplined myself to follow regular work hours. Much as it was tempting to wake up later it just messed up my day. I scheduled my work week so that when I had to go out I'd be home before Miguel arrived from school. I also pointedly do not respond to emails after I log out from work. To manage my stress I also do not check work email outside of my regular work hours.

Work-life balance. It's one of the things that's highlighted at work and as manager I have to remind my team about it (it's just seriously so hard working with millenials!). Must be a generation thing, but I prefer to compartmentalize and make it a point that I'm able to relax outside of work hours. I'm pretty much reachable (many people can attest to this), but just don't make me work outside of my regular work hours (I become grumpy).

Week-ends are sacred. I've had more lieus than vacation leaves in the last 5 years, but I never get around to taking a day off in exchange for the weekends I've worked. Working with community requires you most of them time to work on weekends. I don't mind since I love community work. Since my surgery though my body requires more rest so I've had to re-work how I work and his year one of the things I have to do is drastically lessen traveling. #SignsofOldAge

Anyway, it's really entirely up to you how you work, but don't complain if you end up rendering overtime and losing your social life. It's a choice and your responsibility to push back when things are too much. Don't ever forget that work should just be a means and not your life.