This week I’ve been thinking about priorities a lot. I’ve recently gone through a busy phase and during that time I came to realize what I’m willing to sacrifice and what I’m not willing to sacrifice for my career. One of the things I’m not willing to budge on is time with my fiance. Now, before I get too far into this I just want to say that yes, I understand that there are busy times in the life-cycle of a project and I’m willing to be flexible with that, I’m willing to have busy weeks and spend late nights at the office, what I’m not willing to budge on is this: when I’m with my fiance, when we’re spending time alone, going to the farmer’s market or general adventuring in this city of ours, my attention will be with my fiance.
I will not be thinking of the project at work or how the next deadline is approaching. I’m not willing to think about how there’s some discrepancy between my hours worked and my tickets completed lists. That’s not why I go home at the end of the day.
And this is why it’s important to have an employer who feels the same way (which, luckily, I do): I love my job, but when I go home, being able to be there for my fiance is what drives me. I still program at night, I love it, I won’t give that up either, but by being able to devote myself to my friends and family when I’m with them keeps me sane. Not only is it healthy for me, it’s healthy for my company. When I come to work, I give work my full attention (I try to at least, there’ll always be days when that’s more difficult). Importantly, my family and friends KNOW I am giving my work my full attention. They don’t try to keep me from work. They don’t bother me while I’m at work.
Encouraging your employees to walk away from work and leave work at the office allows for a better work-life balance and higher employee morale (not to mention employee’s family morale), if your employer doesn’t currently have this type of policy, I highly encourage you to rethink your relationship with them, your job does not have to be all that defines you.