Balancing Work With Life
The country is confronting difficult times and the stresses of both personal and professional lives are mounting. There is always the constant battle between work and home, and as the pressures of the economy push down on executives, there exists the temptation to neglect the need for balance.
“The landscape today is very charged,” said Eddy Sumar, MBA, CCE, CICE, CEW, founder, ER$ Consulting Services, during the NACM-sponsored teleconference "Balancing Work With Life". “There is the financial meltdown, the financial crisis, people are going bankrupt and a lot of our customers might be defaulting on their payments. Companies are becoming very lean. If you are a manager you probably have less people under you.”
Sumar said it was important for credit managers to take a deep breath from time to time and take a rest period; take some time off. That could involve simply placing a “Do Not Disturb” sign on their office door to take a few quiet moments or closing their eyes to take a break from staring at the computer screen.
“I hear many times of people saying, ‘I would love to take a vacation. I would love to relax.’ Then, when they go on vacation, they take their laptop, their cell phone and keep on working,” said Sumar. “Is that a vacation? Will they reach a point of balance and equilibrium? No, they will not. Because it’s a not a point of relaxation, they just changed their place of work from the office to a beach in Cancun.”
He added, “We need to really start living, start being, instead of just work, work, work all day.”
The global outlook is one of uncertainty and one that Sumar believes was facilitated by greed and deceit; individuals lost control of the balance in their lives. Hundreds of thousands of people are losing their jobs while millions are losing their homes. Around the world, people are being affected by the financial crisis and the decisions they made. Thrown onto this are concerns about the environment: global warming, pollution and noise pollution which impacts people psychologically, physiologically, emotionally and sociologically. Then there is technology and communication. For managers, a cell phone means they are tethered to the office 24-hours a day, and if they are involved in international business, the effects are worse.
Sumar suggests that to create balance, professionals need to identify what causes the imbalances, define key life roles, refine their core values and then anchor themselves to their values and strengths. Work is not the center of the universe and if professionals just commit themselves to working nonstop, they will inevitably burn out and feel the impacts in their personal and professional lives.
He stated that he believes that spirituality should play a key role in every person’s life because it provides the foundation for ethics and values and helps alleviate tension.
“Over time, an improper balance will lead to problems,” said Sumar. “And this is what’s happening today. A lot of my friends that I talk to, a lot of credit managers, a lot of clients that I meet keep saying, ‘Eddy, we don’t have time. We just need to continue to work, work, work just to stay afloat these days.’ You know what? It’s a choice we make. We can decide to work 24/7, but are we going to find that point of balance? Are we going to be a happier person?”
Sumar is a firm proponent of the three “R’s”: Recreate, Re-energize and Refuel. He also delved into the OTIS Principle and the OTIS Factor that professionals should adhere to. OTIS stands for: become Open-Minded to seek opportunity; adopt Trust and Technology; pursue Integrity; and always Seek and Search for solutions.
“If we create an imbalance in our lives, it’s a guarantee that it will lead to problems,” said Sumar.
Matthew Carr, NACM staff writer