The truth hurts at times, doesn’t it? I have stressed a good work life balance to my team over the years, and have on many occasion told my staff to go home when I feel they are working too much. I do not need or want stressed/burned out staff working. We have times when we must burn the midnight oil, but they are few and far between. I want my staff at 100% when those crunch times occur.
Why am I a hypocrite? I do not take my own advice. I work many nights and weekends when it is not necessary. I get concerned if my Blackberry is more then 10 feet away from me. I even have the phantom feeling of the device vibrating when it has been more then 10 minutes between e-mails.
I had a life lesson this weekend. The family attended our six year old daughter’s soccer game. The game was fun with all these little girls running around kicking the ball up and down the field. Afterwards we went to lunch to celebrate the game (her team lost the game, but at six, they do not even care).
At lunch, I realized that I had left my Blackberry at the house as we left in a rush to get to the game on time. I was a mildly upset with myself, and a little concerned, that I had left it at the house.
My daughter told me not to worry, and that it was OK that I had left it at home. When I asked why, she told me that way I could watch the game.
My world was shattered…I am disappointed with myself. It is overdue for me to take my own advice and unplug. Things are going to change and change quickly.
As adults we take to much for granted, and do not realize that children are more perceptive then we realize.
I do not consider myself a neglectful father or husband. My wife says I am dedicated and responsible employee, and I agree. She also tells me that I am a good father and husband, and I believe her. How do my children feel? They wish I would work less and spend more time playing with them.
I have sent, albeit unintentionally, that I prioritize work equal with or over family. I do not feel that I do, addicts seldom see the addition, but that is what my daughter relayed to me in her simple comment. Kids know when adults are focused on them and when they are not. We may tell ourselves that we are spending time with family, but it we cannot go 5 minutes without our mobile fix, then it is time for an intervention.
My wake up call was mild as I am only mildly addicted. I know people who would have left lunch to get their Blackberry. What is the message we are sending to our loved ones when we reach for the little devices every time that it buzzes? Who, or better yet, what has the priority in our lives? Who is the servant, the device or the user?
I know that issues come up and require attention. We did not get to middle or upper management by mistake. However, you must support the people that got you where you are today and they are your family. No one on their dying bed says they wished they spent more time at work. Work will be their and you can go two hours between message checks when you are off work.
You owe it to your family! I know I do.