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Toby Nwazor: 7 Ways to Live a Fulfilled Life Even When You Have a Stressful Job



Someone once said that we cannot really have it all. If you have all the money you need, then you will not have all the time you need to enjoy it. If on the other hand you have all the time you need to enjoy your life, then you will not have all the money you need to flex it.

Having worked in the banking sector for a while, I can agree to that analysis to a large extent. I mean, I know what it is like to be the first person to leave my street in the morning, and return when every other person must have taken dinner.

It is not funny.

If you are living in Lagos, then your own experience of not having time will be raised to power one billion. If your job (or your location) gives you a lot of free time, then you are very lucky. For some of us, time is a luxury. Still, we want to live our lives to the fullest.

Below are seven ways you can still live a full life though your job doesn’t give you time.

Maximize every leave and public holiday.
This point obviously doesn’t apply to entrepreneurs, because leaves and public holidays don’t hold any meaning for them. If your organization recognizes public holidays however, then you are in luck.

Plan your leaves and public holidays in advance. Do you need to go visit your parents? Do you want to go spend some time with your fiancée? Even if you want to visit Olumo rock, or go for a short vacation in Calabar, plan it.

If you don’t, then expect to have other people, especially your boss to make their own plans and force you into it.

Make friends with people in a different profession.
I know how tempting it is to be among people that understand the language you speak. You know, people that have the same office jokes with you and understand exactly how you feel.
pic 2. Make friends from a different profession
Don’t limit yourself to that. Expand your horizon. If you are a doctor, make friends with real estate investors. If you are a lawyer, make a fashion designer one of your best friends. And the fact that you work in UBA and your friends work in GTB doesn’t count.

Devise a way to beat the traffic (if you can).
Sometime ago I stayed with a friend of mine in Ikoyi for a few weeks. It was so sweet to be leaving Ikoyi for the mainland early in the morning and returning around 7pm. “Only with my eyes did I see” the traffic gridlock on the other side of third mainland bridge, “but it did not come near me”. That period was my best in Lagos.
pic 3. avoid traffic
Another time, I was in Marina and I needed to see a client in Apapa. Rather than spend hours suffering on that smoke-oozing-trailers-infested road, I entered a ferry to Apapa. I arrived my destination quicker, and enjoyed the ride too.

Save time (money) by moving closer to your work place.
I moved to a new apartment earlier this year. My new apartment is very close to my office and also to church. Among other things, it helped me cut down a lot on transport cost. And since I moved, stress simply disappeared. Also I now have a lot of ‘ME’ time.

If you can afford it, do the same.

Unless absolutely necessary, leave work in the office.
I know you want to win the award of most dedicated staff of the year. But there’s a need to apply wisdom. The secret is to work while you are at work. I mean, office hours isn’t meant for facebook/BBM chats and watching seasonal movies on your tablet.
pic 4. leave work at the office
But when it is time to go home, make sure you “leave work at work”. This singular habit will help you become very productive at work and at the same time have an active life outside work.

Realize that life is a marathon and not a 100M dash.
At the age of 12, I had my life mapped out before me. By my projections, I would graduate from the university at 20, complete NYSC at 21 and start working immediately. I also planned to start and complete my masters before I turned 23, commence my PhD programme immediately, get married at 24 and be going for school run at 26.

Sadly, my projections failed to materialize. I learnt my lesson: “Life is a marathon and not a 100 metres dash”.
That realization helped me to start taking life less like a do or die affair. It also helped me to stop waiting for a perfect future before I can live my best life. I just need to enjoy whatever I have at every given time.

Cut out the junk
I used to be a movie watching and a video game junkie. Earlier this year, my external hard disk crashed. I felt bad because na there I dey store all my movies, and I had hundreds of them.

I formatted it, but I also lost the zeal to get back all the stuff I had. Since then, my movie watching rate has drastically reduced. I now have more time to engage in more rewarding and impactful stuff.

For instance, I have become very active in my local church choir. Also I just joined a non-denominational mass choir recently.
pic 5. cut out the junk
And don’t get me started on my writing. I have written more articles this year than I have ever written since I was born. Does it mean watching movies or playing video games is wrong? Absolutely not! If watching seasonal movies or playing candy crush is your idea of living a great life, by all means knock yourself out.

But like one of my mentors would say, “If you don’t have enough time to do all you need to do, then you are watching too much TV”.

Your turn: does your job make you feel choked? Do you feel as if you don’t have a life outside your office? If you are in Lagos, how do you cope with the traffic? How do you think moving closer to your office will affect you?

Let’s jump into the comment section and discuss. And don’t forget to give me a birthday shout out on Sunday (25th October).

Photo Credit: Writer’s personal images |

Toby Nwazor is a free lance writer and motivational speaker who believes that life is meant to be lived and not just existed in. He is equally an entrepreneur with a lot of hands-on experience in business start-ups, marketing, and customer service. He passionately writes every Monday and Wednesday on about helping entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs build successful start-ups


  1. Gruff

    October 25, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    This is a fantastic article. Not just generic anecdotes but genuinely insightful stuff. Made me smile a lot and I can honestly say it’s making me think differently about certain things. Cheers.

    • Toby Nwazor

      October 25, 2015 at 8:57 pm

      Thanks so much Gruff. I am glad you loved

    • Tosin

      October 26, 2015 at 9:38 am

      happy birthday SEASON, darling.

  2. mama dazel

    October 25, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    Why does the article have atoke,s bio beneath it? Was it written by atoke or Toby? Happy birthday Toby. More blessings

    • Toby Nwazor

      October 25, 2015 at 8:59 pm

      Thank you so much mama dazel

  3. Vusi Nkosi

    October 25, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    A very good article. These are the only steps to follow if you want to enjoy a good quality work and personal life.

    • Toby Nwazor

      October 25, 2015 at 9:02 pm

      You are on point Vusi. Thanks

  4. Helen

    October 25, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    Am happy to read this article. God bless you plenty.

  5. miss Pee

    October 25, 2015 at 3:19 pm

    Nice article. Happy Birthday Toby!

  6. Bibi

    October 25, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    Happy birthday Toby!

  7. Bibi

    October 25, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    Nice tips! You sure know how to enjoy life.

  8. Miss Anonymous

    October 25, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    Happy birthday!

  9. Estèe

    October 25, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    Happy birthday Toby!

  10. Manny

    October 25, 2015 at 5:24 pm

    Happy birthday Toby! I look forward to reading more articles from you because you are quite pragmatic. You got it right on cutting out the junk. First step towards living a more productive life.

    • Toby Nwazor

      October 25, 2015 at 9:12 pm

      Thanks Manny, I appreciate the kind words

  11. Chicanita

    October 25, 2015 at 6:27 pm

    Happy Birthday Toby. I enjoyed the article, very practical , straight forward and it also made me smile and reflect. Well done
    I totally agree with leaving work at work.

  12. bibiie

    October 25, 2015 at 6:29 pm

    Happy birthday Toby!!!! You are sorry have taken over my love for Atoke’s banter. Keep it up. Still rough around the edges but tough anf raw. I like it! Not some tush butty writer but equally versatile. Those movies may have helped ur writing but the they r not compatible with life! Hehehe. One must know when to cut out some stuff

  13. thanks Toby! This is very timely for me. Happy Birthday!

    October 25, 2015 at 6:42 pm

    Thanks Toby! This is Very timely for me…Happy Birthday!

  14. nk

    October 25, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    I loved this article! Very inspiring and real. I laughed a great deal! Hbd!!!!

    • Toby Nwazor

      October 26, 2015 at 9:06 am

      Thanks NK. Thanks to God for the inspiration

  15. mrs chidukane

    October 25, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    Happy birthday Toby, nice article.

  16. Tochi Ozulumba

    October 25, 2015 at 10:14 pm

    Nice article, Toby. Happy Birthday too!

  17. Niyoola

    October 25, 2015 at 10:30 pm

    Happy Birthday.

  18. yinda

    October 25, 2015 at 11:30 pm

    Insightful and informative. Love it from the first sentence to the last.

  19. Chinco

    October 26, 2015 at 1:01 am

    You are such a ‘real’ person. So down to earth and unpretentious ( based on what you write), good job.

    • Toby Nwazor

      October 26, 2015 at 9:07 am

      Wow. I love the ‘real person’ description Chinco. Thanks

  20. Cesc

    October 26, 2015 at 7:31 am

    Happy belated birthday Toby.. I enjoyed this article.. very useful tips. God bless u

    • Toby Nwazor

      October 26, 2015 at 9:08 am

      Thank you Cesc…the celebration continues. Lol

  21. ruthy

    October 26, 2015 at 7:56 am

    This is so inspiring. tanks Toby

    • Toby Nwazor

      October 26, 2015 at 9:09 am

      You are welcome Ruthy. I wonder if you are the Barrister Ruthy I know. lol

  22. Laiza

    October 26, 2015 at 9:19 am

    Great article Toby. I specifically connect with- Make friends in other industries, cut out the junk and other ways to beat traffic, especially in Lagos. Happy Belated Birthday :).

    • Toby Nwazor

      October 26, 2015 at 12:21 pm

      Thanks Laiza. I am glad you could connect. It is always great to hear other people’s opinions and get out of our comfort zone. About the traffic situation in lagos, na talk for another day o

    • Toby Nwazor

      October 26, 2015 at 12:24 pm

      Thanks Laiza. The issue of traffic in Lagos is talk for another day o. God dey shaa

  23. Chizzy

    October 26, 2015 at 9:24 am

    Happy birthday dearie.

    I agree with you on time management.
    The wastage of life and destiny is the outcome when time is unemployed.
    Let’s not permit time to pass without making progress

    • Toby Nwazor

      October 26, 2015 at 12:22 pm

      Thanks Chizzy for the birthday wishes. You just hit the nail on the head. I couldn’t have said it any better

  24. Ideal

    October 26, 2015 at 9:43 am

    Nice 1 Toby dearie……u r full wit encouraging words

  25. new bride

    October 26, 2015 at 10:58 am

    I really like this dude! Doesn’t take life too seriously and looks to get the best out of every situation.

    • Toby Nwazor

      October 26, 2015 at 12:23 pm

      That’s the spirit behind living your best life now new bride, I am glad you like it

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