How I find balance — January 2018

Don Nishio keeps a healthy work-life balance by playing hockey and a variety of other sports.

Don Nishio, 63, partner and leader of the Japanese business services group, Manning Elliott LLP, Vancouver


Our work here is seasonal, so I work about half my normal hours in the summer.


I try to avoid rush hour, as I live in North Vancouver and it’s a zoo every morning and afternoon. I leave for the office at nine and work to seven at night.


My firm gives me the ability to log in and work from anywhere, so even if I take time off, I’m connected. I check my emails most evenings; I may work for an hour or two at night. This approach buys me the freedom to go away and do the things that I want to do and still keep up on things.


Once or twice a year I go to Japan for business. I enjoy that because I used to live there — I love the food and the camaraderie.


I’ve always played sports; I still play hockey in a senior men’s league at the North Shore Winter Club and at a weekly game at Britannia Rink. We play every Wednesday morning at seven year-round. I’ve been playing hockey with some of the same guys for 39 years. Our group has an annual Christmas breakfast where we raise money for charity: [in 2017] the total should pass $400,000.


I ski 20 to 25 days each winter, do some bike riding in the summer and golf 30 to 40 rounds a year.


I also love fly-fishing. I have a friend who has a cabin north of Kamloops, BC, and my buddies and I get invited up there a few times a year. I find fly-fishing to be very meditative: all you’re thinking about is how to catch this fish and you totally forget about the rest of life.