…“In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.”
– Isaiah 30:15 –
I don’t work on Fridays. It may sound crazy, but years ago, before NBA became the company that it is today, I made a decision to nurture and respect my personal life as much as my professional life. Part of that decision was to not work on Fridays. I don’t just stay home and work from a laptop—I actively separate myself from the hustle of the workweek and find time to reflect, exercise, and spend time with my family. It was made a world of difference for me as a leader, an individual and a partner and father.
I fully recognize the blessings of my life. Not all people have the luxury of being able to afford to miss one day of work each week. Not all people want to miss one day of work each week. But the number of days that I’m present in the office is not the point. The point is that each of us needs to take a look at our lives and see where we’re balanced—and more importantly, see where we’re not balanced.
If you could measure your stress, what would it read? Do you wake up every day exhausted and not excited about work? Do you enjoy your job? Are you growing, taking on new projects and setting goals for yourself? These are important questions to ask. Stress can be a huge influencer on our lives in many ways. Even the Mayo Clinic—the nation’s number one hospital—recognizes the importance of maintaining a healthy balance between work and life. Stress impacts our health, our relationships, our lifestyle and our success. And if we don’t properly manage our stress, the very drive that encourages you to show up early and work late can end up being the biggest obstacle to your success. In fact, stress is considered to be a workplace hazard: stress costs American industry more than $300 billion every year.
When I was younger, I worked all day every day. I wanted to be successful, and I wanted it right away. I didn’t sleep properly. I spent all of my time building a business. I pushed important people away. And I lost harmony in my life. I experienced changes in my personal life that impacted my ability to be a great employee. So I made a commitment to change my life. I stopped working five days a week, because that was what I needed to do in my life to restore balance. I found ways to work quiet prayer into my day, every day. I prioritized important people in my life, and I put maintaining my health and wellbeing at the top of my to-do list.
I am not going to suggest that reducing the workweek is the right solution for every employee. But I am going to suggest that we all find ways to reduce stress in our lives. NBA does this every day by helping families reduce their financial stress. I do this every day by finding a few minutes of quiet time. Where will you find quiet in a loud world?