I have worked almost twenty years of my life. There have been ups and downs but I must say that most experiences were pleasant. I have been put into situations where my mettle has been put to extreme tests. Most times I have steered myself through the roughest storms and have also sometimes failed. In my line of work, it is never a nine to five job. You would be labelled as working half a day if you leave 'early' and you will be deemed a clock watcher.
When it comes to life, very little could be said in general. Why is it not general? This is due to our different upbringings, beliefs, ambitions and aspirations. One thing that we need to acknowledge is that this world will not be around forever. However it is called; doomsday, rapture or till kingdom come - it will come. As the adage goes, time waits for no man. Most of us do not realize that the biological clock is ticking, in denial we see that it is still a long way ahead and we live like we are going to be here forever. Back to my earlier notion of my years of working, is it a myth or fact that leaving the office early is bad. I know that in countries like Japan, employees who leave early from the office are known to be ineffective and holds no importance in the eyes of the employer. Working late is a 'normality' and it supposedly reflect that one is highly effective and productive.
Work is important, nearly all our awake time is dedicated to it. We are all surrounded by this weird peer pressure of working long hours. Colleagues pressure each other to something that nobody wants to do. Don't get me wrong, I am not speaking against work itself, per se. I do believe that work can be meaningful, engaging and yes FUN like the beliefs of Air Asia's Tony Fernandez. But, I question the notion that long hours are necessary. Do they equate to productivity? I don't think 60 hour work weeks are necessarily a great way to spend our lives. I think we should reverse the notion of working long hours to adopt efficient work styles and quantitative (as opposed to qualitative) family or personal time. Choices are to be made. Fewer but more efficient meetings, business lunches as oppose to business dinners, travelling less but at the same time increasing frequency of communication through technology. If clever choices are made, we should be able to go home early, play with our children or even go and catch up with friends for a few cuppas.
For myself, bowling nights are Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Gym nights are Tuesdays and Thursdays. I believe that I am still an important figure in my organisation despite my extra curricular activities. I believe a balanced life could be achieved while creating results. The management of yesterday will dwell on working on your guilt conscience of leaving the office early but the management of today will dwell on if you are not happy you will not be productive. When the minute hand of our biological clock has completed the allotted number of times around our clock, it will stop. Time Waits For No One. You should leave work early today, go sweat it out, take time to breathe, smell the flowers and have a few cuppas and most importantly, live life.
The adage of no one is indispensable is really true. Tell me that when we are no longer here, our positions will not be replaced. Should anything happen to our families, could we ever find a replacement. Think about it. We do not stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.