Work/Life Balance: A Non-Existent Concept in Cell Phone Repair?

by Komayal Hassan
work/life balance seesaw

Cell phone repair techs – the best kinds, at least – are notorious introverts. Their trade, likened to brain surgery for micro-solderers, calls for a cave existence. 

Pouring over device motherboards, casings, and power terminals: the full range of hardware. Often under the glare of microscopes and point-lasers; adorned in thick spectacles. πŸ€“

A rarified bunch with their own language and gear. Recognizable, to the discerning eye, from a mile away. 

Creatures of their own ilk – rendered intensely curious for outsiders. Scientists and artists who understand – intimately – what makes a mobile device tick.


Profiling the typical cell phone repair tech

Continuing…they are non-conforming perfectionists; a ghettoized few. And like with all specialized, skill-intensive, vocations, their field ascent promises more of the same.

More self and society imposed estrangement. Missed wedding anniversaries, birthdays, soccer games, plays, and parent-teacher meets. Loads of spousal tantrums brought on by late nights at work. Even a – surprise, surprise – labeling of being ‘cold’ and ‘distant’. The point where the repair tech knows that something’s got to give.

Maybe cut back on all the work – the harbinger of all profit – a little. 

Make the time needed to make amends with family and friends. Not to mention the rest of the species lamenting over their perceived β€˜rejection’ at your hands. 

Yup…we’re now focused squarely on you, hero πŸ’ͺ. Note the second-person shift!

Reconnect with the human in yourself – and in others.


Calling it as it is… (no judgment)

Now, this account might read like an attempt at stereotyping. Cutting narrow definitions both encouraging and dismaying.

But that’s not our intent.

Really.

We’re just calling it as it is.

Not even mentioning some of the recreational fixers some of our favorite techs resort to. Lots of heady smoke in their environs. Happy cough, cough sessions. πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰

Which is cool. 

Whatever legit – at least in some states (medicinally speaking 😁) – that floats their boat, right? Enabling productivity; warding off the stress. 

Did we mention that we’re not judging?


Maybe try something healthy? (no pressure)

But maybe take up a sport or two. Get those endorphins going; that dopamine and serotonin pouring.

The healthy way!

For some, binging on comfort carbs comes as a go-to fix. Another definite no-no.

Take the family on a weekend movie night. Or shoot some time with like-minded friends; used to your non-filtered self. 

All things, in fact, that speak to building a sustainable work/life balance. A tall order, certainly, in cell phone repair – but not something impossible. Attainable through the experiential pointers – advice from the vets – listed below.

And again…we’re not trying to be judgy or preachy here. Just doling out the picture as it stands (based on our diverse interactions). Trying to help with the ‘life’ bit of our going theme.


Restoring Work/Life Balance: A Tech Repair/Geek-Sympathetic Approach

You know where we’re going with this.

You can either try approaching one of these life-restorative hacks in isolation – or do the step-by-step.

But we’d recommend going baby-crawl on this.

Which brings us to our first point.


1. Start Out Little – Seek Change in Tidbits

Human beings are creatures of habit. Tendencies and behaviors solidified over time. Etched onto the brain; resistant to change. A function of our innate biology – where nature tries to conserve energy.

Same brain circuits, built through (and coding for) practice, follow this condition. Changing them, and their associated behaviors, calls for energy investment. So the body resists this course.

Still, the agent in charge of affairs here is the individual. That means you! πŸ‘Š

Through conscious effort, the change sought is achievable (more on this in Point 2).

The wise way to go about this is to proceed slow. Little tweaks in existing behavior that go a long way. Soften the fall – or the climb; however you think it – a bit. 

Consider the common cell phone repair shop case:

Ever the workaholic, you find it difficult to budget your time well. The daily work schedule just seems to flow without end. Often eating into the nights. Sometimes, even into your allotted recess time.

The problem here is not unending repair work orders. It’s the passionate dedication you put into the commitment. Caught in a loop of exhilaration fanned by every good job done. Begetting a high you can never get enough. 

The problem here is you.

Let us pull the pitchfork out.

Kidding.

πŸ˜‹

So how do you usher in improvement?

You start easy. 

Fix a work timeframe bound with a pinky swear you won’t break. Say 6 pm in the evening, after which all repair bets are off. No listening to clients, bosses, coworkers, or peers. No responding to emails and DMs, or even entering into conversations that reek of toil. Even if your work is half-done, you need to leave it to the next day.

Once the habit to stop kicks in, your emotions will fall in line. No more pangs of guilt on incomplete gigs or missed chats. 

Keep up the lifestyle hack for a while – ideally a year – and your brain will change. All courtesy of neuroplasticity.

Pro-Tip: Use a good time management app to narrowly budget/schedule your hours.Β 


2. Practice Mindfulness – Be ‘Self-Analytical’

A crucial prerequisite to any behavior-changing run is to be mindful. Or to be consciously aware of yourself to whatever degree made possible. Deeply analytical; scrutinizing your thoughts and their linked emotions. 

Reflexively investigative, as it were, of reflex (we like the repetitive sound of that πŸ˜‹).

Try cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to make the thought shift.

To do this, simply trace the cause-and-effect train of individual thoughts. Notice, calmly, how they influence your mood and emotions. Feel how these, in turn, affect your behaviors – fostering some, impeding others. 

Once you have these maps worked out, try to shake one of their component pathways. 

You can start by attacking the rationale behind a particular thought-conclusion. Does it flow logically down its road, or is it weighed by subjective interpretation? Or emotional baggage channeled from childhood, the environment, adverse life events, and so on. 

If the thought/emotional analysis proves too daunting, change gear. Focus, instead, on the ‘behavior’ part of the triad. Your aim is to alter an outward, spontaneous trait by consciously introducing some practice to the mix. The vehicle, if you get the analogy, meant to achieve this result.

On this front, nothing, in our experience, beats some good old deep-breathing. Or diaphragmatic breathing, if you want to be pinpoint. Deep inhalation rounds of 10 seconds, followed by 5-8 seconds of hold; followed by 10 seconds of forced exhalation. Repeated in cycles of 10, with a five-second pause in between.Β 

During the process, focus, narrowly, on your body’s response. Notice how your heart rate slows, your thoughts assemble, and your muscles relax. Imagine a light shining through your body; from head to toe. Relieving your limbs of any strain; causing all stress to escape earth-wards. 

All of this comes covered under the aegis of mindfulness.Β 

Forcing a shift in emotional state. Linked, closely, with changed behavior. Worked, on the neuronal level, through altered brain pathways. 

The new, outward, attribute sought is achieved; now part of your body’s personality matrix. 

When carried to its logical/practical extremes, mindfulness therapy can result in a completely changed mode of being. From an existence only centered on surviving to one hinged on thriving! πŸ„β€β™‚οΈ

From the cell phone repair shop vantage, say you want to check your anger directed at pesky clients. The ones who don’t hold up their ends of the bargain. Not providing payments on time, passwords to locked screens, droning poor ratings in response to actually good work, and the like.

Mindfulness-centered focusing can help you with the empathy part of the equation. 

In practice, this might entail your empathizing with a troublesome client. Perhaps they’re having a bad day, or their anger might be a function of some miscommunication. Or they are just plain ill-tempered. If their rage isn’t based on some logical reason, it’s quite likely it stems from one of these foundations.

If this doesn’t work, you could try deep breathing. Take charge through the behavior-modification route.


3. Eschew Perfectionism – Forgive Yourself!

For most professionals, never mind cell phone repair techs, trade perfectionism comes as a coveted attainment. But is it really?

What if it’s a fierce taskmaster with a bite harsher than its bark? Always ready to put you down with a series of psychological rebukes. Each more bitter than the last.

Geared to convince that you’ll never be good enough. No matter the investment of time, creativity, and work. No matter the heart and mind-ache (not to mention the midnight oil) burned during the process. 

Well, the sad news is that perfectionism is all of these things. What’s more, it promises a life of misery and unrewarding cynicism. Leeching pleasure from all things, reducing all to abject dreariness. 😣

Better to strive for excellence, instead. Per the new-age, organizational philosophers’ creed. Enshrined in such ‘quality work’ espousing frameworks as the ‘Agile Methodology‘. Breaking down a complex task into smaller, more manageable steps. Each undertaken only after the fair completion of the former. 

So for the ‘hard on themselves’ cell phone repair tech, the prescription to let go of any impossible standards comes as a total no-brainer.

So does the advice ‘to forgive any work screwups’ encountered along the way. 


4. Learn to Delegate – Get Comfy with Sharing

Once you’re done with warding off the crazed efficiency/productivity demon, start delegating.

There is nothing like sharing the excesses of a burgeoning workload to deflate a busy routine. 

The best way to do this is to make good hirings. 

Recruit skilled, professionally sound workers to contribute to the untangling effort. Go easy on their initial bout of mistakes to retain – you too were once a beginner, remember?

As you become more comfortable with delegating, and your team expands, go ‘managerial’. This means doing less of the minute technical repair work; only pitching in for complicated, high-stakes, gigs. And leaving everyday executions to your team. The natural evolution that needs to take place – after a long season of demonstrated expertise.

Also, learn to appreciate every order that is well-executed. Don’t ruminate over the ruinous ‘it could be better’ failing. If anything, this stream of thinking is only ever a dead end; counterproductive to your best-laid plans. Detrimental to yourself, your staff, and your business over the long haul.


5. Be OKAY with the chill (every now and then)

As repair industry insiders and human beings, we can’t stress enough the importance of letting your hair down every once in a while. πŸ’ƒ

Nothing wrong with that – especially if your chill excursions beget productivity. 

Essential, more like, if this is true.

In your reprieve time, do whatever – legit – you fancy. Whether it’s time at the movies, hanging out with peers, or road trips.Β 

Or even if it’s ‘going easy’ on the weed – wink-wink – that floats your boat.

Or not.

Nothing that detracts too much from your going work execution flow, though. You don’t want to go off-steam any more than can be helped. So you’re still able to strike the iron when it’s hot. Get back on the horse and gallop towards the finish. 🐎


So there you have it – our actionable, insiders’ take on what you can do to regain some balance. A healthy equilibrium that keeps your mind, heart, and soul at ease. Ensuring sanity that is immediate, existential – not a hard reach!

What is your recourse when faced with a work-life imbalance – whatever its form?


Care to dish on your go-to tips;

Save our community –

Engaged in all kinds of tech repairs –

From their intense work fits?


✍ to us in the comments below.


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