How do you balance work, family and friends?

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Do you think I’m wrong?

I always feel like not achieved anything spectacular, like there is so much to do and plenty grounds to cover. All the things I read about young people raising the bar of excellence everyday aren’t even helping me. How do I see people doing all these amazing stuff and all I have achieved is my blog, graduating from the university and volunteering at a few events?

Ahh no o.

At this stage of our lives (I’m talking to the young people now o) don’t you think our priority should be building capacity, studying (if you are still in school) and mapping out our path in life?
 I think so but it looks like some of my friends don’t see things from my perspective. Some people keep nagging me about not calling them, not sending whatsapp messages and all that.

 Maybe, just maybe I’m a little bit of an extremist.

There are days I feel like 24 hours is not enough for me to do all I have to do and somebody wants to come and add more work. Now don’t get me wrong,  I love my friends and I know friendship needs communication to grow but since I finished NYSC I’ve had less and less time for social gatherings except it’s one seminar or conference sha.

I don’t think I deliberately ignore my friends but there’s so much to be done you know. Especially as a young career lady (I’m not even sure if that word is right). But I must confess, I feel bit sad whenever someone says ‘ Nawa for you o, you can’t even call somebody.’

The last complaint I got really got me thinking, ‘am I losing my friends in the name of achieving purpose?’ Is there something I am not doing right?’ ‘Maybe I need to learn how to balance things’ so you can imagine my joy when I stumbled on a post on how to balance work & life.

The post was a summary of a panel session at the just concluded #SheHiveLagos. If you don’t know what #SheHive is about the only thing I can say is Google is your friend.

The post I saw was in question and answer form, the first question & Arese’s answer was too perfect.
I could relate with it and I’m sure you will! This was the question:

SLA Question: What is balance to you? What does it mean to be able to balance work with life?
Arese’s reply: I believe in balance but not in the way most people view it. I spent a lot of time in my 20s trying to find balance.

Now this is the part of her answer I love most

You can’t have it all put together all the time and that’s fine.  You should be able to focus on your career and not feel guilty. Learn to live with it. Find out what works best for your lifestyle.
When I saw her answer I was too happy, after all it’s obvious that I have not been able to have it all put together for some time. And one thing that had plagued me for a while was guilt.
I remember what a friend told me and I felt bad until I read this. He said, “You don’t have time for your friends anymore and it’s not good, is it not just this your work? You never know when you’d need us o.”  

Has anyone ever told you something like this?

Although it’s not deliberate, you won’t always have time to call friends or chat with them. I think they should also understand that you are busy and not take things so hard. This is our time to work, cultivate our lives, add value, and chart the course to becoming all we want to be. There’s no time for pointless conversations or everyday gisting. Really

You should be able to focus on you work and not feel guilty. The time you spend feeling guilty can be used for something more productive. Feeling guilty is a distraction on its own.
So how do you find balance? Where do you draw the line between grinding hard and keeping your friends especially when you are just starting your career and there’s so much you have to do, learn, read, write, and schedule if you manage social media accounts like I do?

Have friends that are also pursuing purpose
This is really important. If you are all pumped up about doing so many things and all your friends are idle there will be a serious problem. They will never understand you and why you are so busy. Surround yourself with like minds; can you imagine having friends that are equally working hard? They will be too busy to nag you all the time about calling and chatting. They can even help you, advise you and encourage you when you want to give up on all this ‘purpose thing’ because they are also walking in that path. They understand how it feels.

Create a structure that works
As simple as it sounds, having a proper structure will help you become more organized. If you are a business owner or entrepreneur create a workable structure. Have a set time for waking up, reading, implementing ideas and every other thing you need to do. This way you avoid living a chaotic life and you can make time for friends. You know what I did recently because I procrastinate calling my friends so easily? I included names of friends I wanted to call every day in my ‘To- do’ list. So you’d see something like ‘call Ife and Tola today.

This has really helped me a lot. You can include names of friends you have not called in a while trust me; they’d be glad to hear your voice.

Friends are important but get your priorities straight. Even your friends should be busy too right? 

Can you relate with this? I would love to hear your own story; share it with me in the comments box!



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