Friday, 6 July 2018

It’s back to the grind

The Beginning

Your Wealth is a custom Enterprise briefing for people just like you: Executives, entrepreneurs and builders who know that time isn’t money, but that time and money are feedstock for the one thing that matters most in life: Your family, however you define it.

Once a month, in partnership with our friends at CIB Wealth, we’ll bring you a hand-picked selection of ideas, tips and inspirational stories that will help you make the most of your time, enhance our wealth, and build a better life with the people you love.

As always, we love hearing from readers. Send us story ideas, hints, tips or interview suggestions to

Your Life

It’s back to the grind: We had Ramadan, which willingly and contently (some of us, at least) suffered through in the heat. We had the vacation reward, unsatisfyingly short as it is (thanks, World Cup). Unless you’re one of those prudent planners, whom we’re very jealous of. So now it’s back to work, and we already cannot wait until Eid Al Adha rolls around in about a month, bearing in mind that the October holidays are still a long ways away. Here’s to surviving it with minimal burnout.

And with the slog, we find ourselves preoccupied with the problem of work/life balance, the essence of the whole Your Wealth publication. Today’s issue reflects those morose, sobering, and sometimes optimistic musings.

Here’s to the unnamed soldiers — our fond moniker for night shift workers: We’d like to start by honoring the brave and gallant and (understandably) insane workers, who have to drudge on working nights. In our experience, these shadow operators’ work often go unappreciated. And while we seem hyperbolic in our honor of their sacrifice, bear in mind: lack of sleep can kill you faster than starvation.

No joke, working nights is actually deadly: Researchers at Northwestern and the University of Surrey published a study in the journal Chronobiology International looking into the health consequences of being “a later chronotype” — or those going to sleep well after midnight and rising later. The study, which followed 433,000 adults in the UK over a period of 6.5 years, found that night owls had a 10% increased likelihood of dying compared to people who had an earlier chronotype. And this was true for people of all ages in the study, and for both men and women. The analysis also revealed greater rates of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, gastrointestinal problems, and psychological distress among evening-type people, according to Vox.

The conclusion: “When our biological clock is out of sync with society’s, our whole biology gets thrown off, and many aspects of our lives grow more stressful. Having a very late chronotype is like living in a constant state of jet lag, which takes a toll on the body.” The World Health Organisation identified the effect of night-shift work on the body’s rhythms as a ­possible carcinogen as early as 2007. And that’s not even including the social suicide and losing touch with friends and loved ones.

Yet more lost souls get thrown into the grinder: “The nocturnal workforce seems to be growing, as consumer businesses meet 24-hour demand for their services and manufacturers seek to maximise their investment in factories,” writes Chloe Cornish for the FT. The UK saw the number of night-shift workers rise by more than 250,000 in the past five years.

All you can do, dear night worker, is to sleep better (or move on): To those unfortunate souls who have to work a night shift, we can only wish you luck and offer up the Sleep Talkers blog’s tips on sleeping better for night shift workers. The most obvious of these is to eat healthy, as working nights can make you prone to obesity and bad dietary choices. Another obvious one is to make sure your bedroom environment is conducive to sleep. Not to mention making sure to unwind before bedtime. The most interesting tip? DO NOT switch sleep cycles of the weekend, not matter how tempting that is. “Doing so can interfere with your body’s internal clock that on Mondays, you’ll find yourself tired during your shift and alert when it’s time to sleep. To prevent this, you must be consistent with your sleep-wake schedule.”

A freelancer’s life could be for you: Alternatively, rigid work hours altogether may prove stressful. Done right, it could be lucrative and liberating in a non-bum hippie sense of the word. Professional freelancer James Sowers gives his 10 Insanely Actionable Tips for Successful Freelancing. Most of these are your run of the mill common sense tips — like always use a contract and get a downpayment — or an ethics lesson (being transparent).

What we did find interesting, however, that he encourages freelancers of all professions to take up writing. “Writing is the doorway to getting your name out there, having clients find you, and to truly grow yourself as an individual and freelancer.” He urges freelancers to do it regardless of how shy they are about their writing skills, comforting them with the notion that it gets better with practice.

Personal favorite: Don’t be afraid to say “no”.

It all boils down to job stress: For all the talk about stress, it’s just one of these things that we seem to not be empathetic about in the corporate world. Success rests (no pun intended) on over achievement in a highly competitive atmosphere, yet the stress that comes with it often does harm to organizations. Apathy, boredom, fatigue and low morale can all be killers on an organization. And the stats show that those having difficulty with job stress are not a small portion of an organization. A work and health poll conducted by National Public Radio in the US shows that 44% of US workers say their current job is affecting their health. An almost equal proportion of survey takers said their job had adversely affected their family, social life, health, diet and stress.

Until the corporate slave culture gets thrown to the recesses of time, one needs to get a grip on job stress.Live Career’s manual on managing job stress offers some insight into the little things you could be doing to minimize job stress. Not surprisingly, high on the list is working on that work/life balance.

If stress is something you want to cut out all together and still get paid,IFLSciencehas its list of 43 high paying jobs for people who don’t want stress. The list provides the annual salary and the job stress level and requirements. Bang for buck, the best job on here has to be that of a physicist. Average annual salary: USD 118,830. Stress tolerance (scored out of 100): 61. The caveat: You need a PhD for most research jobs. Transportation equipment electrical and electronics installer and repairer will get you the smallest salary out of the list at USD 60,840 per annum, with a stress tolerance level of 60. All you need is a high school diploma.

Your health is everything: We did not evolve by sitting on benches and preparing reports in clay tablets (that came later). For those with desk jobs and work-related sedentary lifestyle, the health risks are real. Thankfully we live in a very health conscious world, with plenty of people having something to say on the subject. We’re also thankful that they’re almost always the same, so there’s consistency. Health sites, like MD Monthly and USA News’ health blog, offer some combination of movement and a healthy diet. Most common advice in the movement department is to take mini-workout breaks, walk everywhere, and park further from work. Healthy snacks and packed lunches helps you avoid being drawn in with the not so health conscious coworkers during lunch orders.

We would be remiss if we didn’t throw in a workout video: Tech Insider has its instructional video for an efficient seven minute workout, which range from the standard push-ups and sit-ups, to the downright manic, such as the running in place. The workout is shorter than the actual video (watch; runtime: 8:31).

We hope you’re reading this close to something edible: Girl on Bloor blog is offering up meal prep recipes for busy people, which we found absolutely mouth-watering. Looking past the deliciousness of it all (thank you, freezer-friendly breakfast taquitos), the blog runs down the ancillary benefits of meal prep. These include saving time and money, and reducing stress to boot.

Get your work/life balance sorted with CIB Wealth Concierge Service: This common prayer should be familiar to those stressed with dealing with multiple tasks: Please let me have some help with all of this. That’s why CIB Wealth, in partnership with Les Concierges Egypt, is setting the industry standard here in Egypt for delivering personalized experiences designed with its clients in mind. CIB Wealth Concierge Services gives CIB Wealth clients exclusive, efficient, and immediate access to round-the-clock tailored services — whether you need help getting errands checked off your to-do list, assistance booking a business flight, or a hassle-free way to make dinner reservations. In effect, CIB Wealth Concierge Service has cracked the age old problem of a work/life balance so you don’t have to.

Your top 5

The five most important business and economy stories out of Egypt in June and the first week of July 2018:

Your Time

Inside the mind of a master procrastinator: This an old one, we know. And no, many of us here are still not fans of TED talks. But this lecture that gives insight into the mind of procrastinators by Wait But Why (WBW) blogger Tim Urban remains a classic for writers and content creators everywhere. Through YouTube binges, Wikipedia rabbit holes bouts of staring out the window, and doodles, Urban provides gut-busting commentary on the habits of procrastinators and the reasons procrastinators do what they do. It’s relatable, realistic and enjoyable (watch, runtime: 14:04).

Your Money

Seriously, how do these freelancers live? The more we work on this issue, the more we’re increasingly drawn to the life of a freelancer. But we just can’t shake the fact that we like steady income, pension, insurance, etc. you can forget about all that as a freelance worker. Furthermore, you’re on your own, so it is up to you to manage your money and ensure you have some saved for those low seasons where work is dry. Where does one even begin?

Forbes has put out it’s three top tips for saving and investing your money as a freelancer: but before it gets into that, it urges that you MUST have a well-maintained budget. Then there’s the self discipline required to top up and hold on your rainy day fund. Assuming you’ve saved enough to begin investing, the piece advises you to be cautious when considering short-term investments. Especially when there are money managers out there who can’t wait to entice you on smaller scale but get-rich-quick plans. It notes that you don’t have to avoid these all together, just make sure you do the homework. And finally, it encourages looking at long-term investments. Some financial advisers recommend freelancers save up 10-12 times what they make in a year, while other will suggest putting 10% of your income into long-term savings.

Your Family

This issue would not be complete with a salute to the working moms out there, who have the hardest time with work/life balance. Those of us who are not working moms can only sit and wonder about how it is they do it, while passing no judgement on those who cannot take on such a burden. To those toiling away on both a job and a family, we urge you to stay strong and not slip into “mother’s guilt’, as the rewards are priceless where it counts — the children.

That’s because research now shows that daughters of working mothers actually get better jobs and higher salaries, according to an extensive survey by Work, Employment and Society on family and career of more than 100,000 men and women. According to a 2015 working paper from the same team, daughters of working mothers in the US make about 23% more than daughters of stay-at-home mothers. And across the 25 developed countries represented in that survey, 21% of women whose mothers had worked got supervisor jobs, compared to 18% of women who had stay-at-home mothers, according to CNN Money.

The benefits to sons are plenty as well. Don’t take it from us. Just ask Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, son of assassinated Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. In an op ed penned for the Guardian, Zadari relays the impact of having such a powerful mother who rose in Pakistan’s politics despite the sexism and regression of the society. “She proved beyond a doubt, with her life and relentless courage, that women can certainly do everything. While the political pygmies who opposed her will be forgotten, she lives on in history as a global icon.’

Your Style

Can fashion help you with a work/life balance? We thought we’d end this by a little bit of fluff and the esoteric. Tapered Magazine contributor Amy Harris has a piece that fits the bill which suggests that fashion can actually play a part in helping you reach a work/life balance. We can’t say buy into her arguments, but we won’t argue with her point on how the right clothes can help prime your brain for whatever occasion.

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