Buckley Blog Bits – May 18, 2017

I’m going to cover a little bit of psychology and a little bit of MMA in today’s edition.  I’ll start with the psychology part first.

Work/Life Balance

I prefer to keep my work life separate from my home life, so I enjoy having a quality work/life balance.  So much so that whenever I’ve received a promotion at work, I’ve always made it clear to my employer that having time away from the office is a must for me.  This isn’t because of a lack of love for my job, but rather it’s because I recognize that I need adequate time to recharge my mental batteries to ensure that I’m able to perform my best on a daily basis.  Plus…I tend to be a bit of a workaholic if given the opportunity, so I like to make it clear that once I leave the office every night that I’m turning work “off” until I come back the next morning.

Whether you’re a segmenter (someone who sets clear boundaries between work and home) or an integrator (someone who combines the two), it’s important to find the style that works best for you.  While there’s no “right” way to be, I prefer segmentation for the reasons stated above.  But I do happily integrate the two when the situation calls for it, but I try to keep that to a minimum.

Bellator 179

The winner of tomorrow night’s Rory MacDonald/Paul Daley fight is slated to take on the winner of Douglas Lima/Lorenz Larkin later this year.  Personally, I’d really rather see Rory MacDonald versus Douglas Lima at some point rather than some combination of a rematch of Douglas Lima/Paul Daley, Lorenz Larkin/Rory MacDonald, or Lorenz Larkin/Paul Daley.  Sometimes it’s hard to decipher how good a non-UFC fighter really is, but I think that a matchup between Lima and MacDonald would give great insight to how good Lima really is.  Even with his UFC departure, MacDonald is viewed as a top five welterweight, and Larkin is viewed at least as a top 15.  A win over Larkin for Lima, and then a showdown with MacDonald would really allow the MMA community to get a better idea of how talented Bellator’s welterweight division is in relation to the UFC’s welterweight division.

So ultimately, I’m cheering for Rory MacDonald to beat Paul Daley.  Not only for the reasons I stated above, but also because I’m a fan of MacDonald’s and I’m eager to see how he does for Bellator.

In the co-main event of Liam McGeary/Linton Vassell, I’m hoping to see Vassell win.  I’ve never been completely sold on McGeary, even if he did have a title reign as Bellator’s light heavyweight champion, so I think Vassell pulls off the win here.  I’m unsure of what’s next for the winner of this fight, whether it’s facing the winner of Phil Davis/Ryan Bader for the light heavyweight title at a later date or facing King Mo Lawal in a number one contender matchup, but I’d like to see Vassell win here.

I think Cheick Kongo defeats Augusto Sakai to continue his “reign” as the unofficial Bellator heavyweight champion (or at least in my mind he is, since Bellator took the title away from Vitaly Minakov last year due to a lack of title defenses).  I’d really like to see Kongo fight for the vacant title at some point, possibly against the winner of Fedor Emelianenko/Matt Mitrione, because I think it’s a tad ridiculous that Bellator hasn’t crowned a new heavyweight champion after stripping Minakov of the title after not defending the title since April 2014.

Finally, I hate how Bellator puts some of these international cards on tape delay.  I would much rather have the option of seeing this card live as it happens, even if that means I’d have to possibly duck out of work early to catch it live.  I know that I can avoid the internet and social media to avoid spoilers before I watch, but I’d just rather know that I’m watching the fight unfold live and spontaneously in front of me.


What I’ve Learned From Curtailing My Social Media Usage

As you might know, I joined Twitter back in 2013 as a way to keep tabs on Toronto Blue Jays news while I was in graduate school because it was easier for me if the news came to me than via my newsfeed than it would have if I had to visit various websites to obtain information while I was busy with my studies.  Little did I know how much social media would actually come to impact my social life, as I’ve met somewhere around 20-25 of my now “real life” friends on Twitter at some point over the past three years.

Fast forward to 2016, where I now have other ways of keeping in touch with those “Twitter friends” of mine, such as actually texting the old fashioned way instead of tweeting or DMing with them.  With it being the baseball off-season, and me having a job that requires me to spend a lot of time devoted to it, as well as a quality social life, I decided now was a good time to go on a social media hiatus.  To be honest, it’s been fun living without Twitter, or at least having cut back on it significantly from the days of when I used to check my timeline almost once an hour during baseball season to take a quick glance for any possible breaking news that I “should” know about immediately.

It’s amazing how much more free time I feel like I suddenly have now that I don’t go on social media as much anymore, and lately none at all.  I have more time to workout, to read, to learn a new language (I’m learning French at the moment), to just talk to friends, and to be blunt, just enjoy my day-to-day life.  In general, I’m just far happier living a private life in a world full of social media histrionics.

I was far from addicted to social media, but it gets annoying after a while to read benign and useless tweets from people that have zero impact on my day to day life (I’m guilty of making such tweets myself), and to be honest it just zaps up brain power that I’d be better off spending on other things, such as the aforementioned hobbies of mine or better yet, the job that pads my bank account.

Honestly, I just feel a lot less stress not looking at social media regularly anymore (not that I was overwhelmingly stressed or unhappy pre-social media hiatus), and I can’t help but wonder how much people who have thousands of Twitter followers would actually enjoy their actual real life lives more if they focused more on their real lives, instead of the Twitter fantasyland that seems to have a firm hold of them.

I’m not sure if I’m done with social media forever, and to be honest I doubt I am because it is a great tool to use for breaking news, especially during baseball season where there’s new news on a daily basis.  But in the meantime, I’m enjoying my time in the “stone age” of where I had to visit various websites to get my news instead of having it come to me, and contacting friends directly via text message or a phone call.

Overall, I’m just happier and more productive with my day-to-day life at the moment.

Knowing When To Quit Your Job

Being an I/O psychology, psychology articles about the workplace definitely intrigue me.  I was reading an article on Psychology Today earlier entitled “5 Signs It’s Time To Quit Your Job” (link: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/cutting-edge-leadership/201609/5-signs-it-s-time-quit-your-job?collection=1094185).

I completely agree with the first two signs on the list, that being working in a toxic environment and being the target of workplace bullying, and I can speak from personal experience.  Simply put, a previous employer of mine was terrible.  My boss was very moody, and it seemed as if she would go out of her way to be mean and negative to employees.  After a few months working for the company, she offered me a better position with the organization which I would have loved to have taken because the increased salary and the better sense of job security would have been much appreciated.  But I turned it down because I couldn’t stand working for her any longer.  I couldn’t tolerate her personality any longer, and I didn’t feel comfortable at work on a daily basis.  I dreaded going to work (this was all unfortunate, because I did like the job itself, and there were times she could be really nice…but those days were very few and far between).  So, I decided to leave altogether.

Two of the other signs on the list, which were being stuck in a dead end position or having no chance to grow and further develop are also a pair of critical signs that it might be time to move on as well.  It’s frustrating to feel that you’ve plateaued, and that you’re no longer getting better at your job.  Imagine going to the gym, bench pressing 150 pounds, and then working your way up to 180 pounds, and then….being stuck at 180 pounds, regardless of how hard you were working.  It’d be pretty frustrating, right? The same goes for your professional career.  Plateaus are frustrating, and I’ve left an employer in the past because I felt like I had stopped growing professionally, and that I wasn’t going to be given the opportunity to further develop under their guidance.

So in my own personal experience, I can say that the signs on this list are all very valid reasons to seek employment elsewhere.  If you feel like you can’t get along with your co-workers or your boss (side note: conflict is bound to happen at times regardless of where you work, but it’s how it’s able to be managed that makes the difference), or you feel like you’ve hit a professional plateau and don’t see any end in sight, then it’s time to look for employment elsewhere.

Work is important, and that goes without saying, because of what it brings us in terms of financial support.  But we spend at least half of our waking lives at work, and do you really want to be miserable for half of your waking hours, and even feel a sense of dread during the waking hours you don’t spend at work because you hate your job? I think not.  It’s not worth the sense of frustration.

Buckley Blog Bits – September 7, 2016

  • Blue Jays: It’s amazing how much an amazing end to the 2015 season really seemed to spoil Blue Jays fans. After years of being out of the playoff picture by this point in the season, the Jays are tied with the Red Sox for the AL East lead and have a two game lead on the wild card.  The race is incredibly tight right now, and it’s going to come down to the final weekend of the season (when the Blue Jays visit the Red Sox).  As a fan, it’s hard not to get frustrated with the tough close losses at this point in the season, especially when the teams that are chasing your favorite team right now are winning games and closing the gap.  But it’s important to remain sane during the postseason push.  After all, wouldn’t we all rather be in this position of being in the hunt for even just the wild card after years of having to “wait for next year?” I know one day I’ll look back on this 2016 season and say ‘that was a fun, exciting year,” but in the meantime I think I, like most Jays fans, are going to experience a wide array of emotions down the stretch.  Maybe had the Jays not won the AL East last season, and in such dominating fashion, could I appreciate this season more than I have thus far.
  • MMA: UFC 203 is on Saturday, and I’m really looking forward to the card. Of course, part of that is because I have tickets to the event but also it’s shaping up to be a pretty fun card to watch.  You have a heavyweight title fight which is always fun, and that’s in addition to the fact that you have four current or former world champions on the card (Miocic, Overeem, Werdum, and Faber), plus you have the long awaited MMA debut of CM Punk (which ironically is in the same building where he legitimately quit the WWE back in 2014).  Even the prelim bouts look good on paper, so this card has potential to be the best UFC event I’ve ever attended in person, and I’m really looking forward to it.
  • I/O Psychology: I was reading an article on Psychology Today entitled “5 Signs That It’s Time To Quit Your Job” (link: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/cutting-edge-leadership/201609/5-signs-it-s-time-quit-your-job ), and reasons 4 and 5 really stood out to me (I’m not looking to leave my job, but I’m always open to new opportunities if they arise, plus I’m curious to see what other work psychologists say in regards to career satisfaction). I think a lot of people, employers included, don’t always understand the importance of growing/development and purpose in a job when it comes to career and job satisfaction.  Personally, as nerdy as it might sound, I just enjoy learning new things, so I appreciate the task variety and skill variety that my job brings.  In addition, people like to feel important, so if you feel like your job lacks a true purpose, you probably won’t feel a great deal of satisfaction.  Really, we spend so much of our waking hours at work (estimates show anywhere from 40% to 70%), that there’s no need to work at a job where you don’t feel a sense of importance and satisfaction.

Buckley Blog Bits – September 5, 2016

  • It’s been a disappointing few days for the Blue Jays. I’ll be one of the first to tell you that shit happens over the course of a 162 game season, that bad teams can beat good teams on any given day, and so forth.  But that doesn’t change the fact that the Jays going 1-3 against the Rays and Yankees over the past four days hasn’t been a bit of a bummer.  Given their lack of success in Tampa over the past decade, taking 1 out of 3 wasn’t that bad (still a bummer, however), and I have faith in their ability to take one or both of their next two games in New York, but with the AL East race, and even the wild card race, getting a bit tight it would’ve been nice to have some more breathing room.  But at the end of the day, the magic number for the AL East right now is 25 and the magic number for a wild card spot is 24.
  • Saturday’s UFC event was a fun watch. I love UFC Fight Pass cards because the pace of the show is nice since there’s minimal time in between bouts, plus the cards have been rather solid as of late.  I wasn’t surprised to see Alexander Gustafsson maul (pun intended?) Jan Blachowicz, but I was impressed with the way Blachowicz held his own and provided a solid challenge for Gustafsson for the first round.  Of course, the next two rounds were a bit lopsided in Gustafsson’s favor, but I pictured that happening.  The main event was a fun bout to watch as well.  I’d watched the countdown show for the fight on Saturday morning, and it gave me an even better appreciation for the main event.  I was cheering for Josh Barnett, so I was happy to see him win, but part of me wanted the bout to go on for a while longer because I was having a great time watching the two legends go at it.
  • Labor Day weekend has provided me with a nice reminder about the importance of work/life balance. While I love my job, having a three day weekend was much needed for me for a variety of reasons.  One, I just don’t take days off from work for the most part, or at the very least I infrequently do.  Two, with the constant traveling and weekly mini road trips I’ve been going on for the last two months, I actually hadn’t slept in on consecutive days in nearly 8 weeks, so it was great to just sit back and rest up.  Furthermore, I just took a break for a few days.  I didn’t leave the house, I barely read anything (anyone who knows me knows that I read constantly in my free time…I probably read between 15-20 books per year), and I actually just sat around the house, watched some television (which I rarely do except when I’m watching the Jays play) and worked out quite a bit.  The point I’m trying to make here is that it’s important to take some time away from work, and even your regular daily/lifestyle routines, and just recharge your batteries.  The past 72 hours have been very beneficial to me, and I suggest anyone who’s feeling a sense of burnout take some time for themselves as soon as they can.