We live in a wired, digital world where our work is as portable as a smartphone or tablet. It’s tempting to check our email or reply to a message when we should be more focused on ‘living in the moment.' For many people, the work week is stretched far beyond the typical 40-hours per week. But in a fast-paced work environment, how does one rationalize between putting food on the table, and still being able to enjoy life?
What is balance?
The demands placed upon us by external forces, such as work and home, require that we successfully expend our time says psychologist Bruce Liese.
"Balance is the ability to take care of all that and still be healthy mental and physically," says Liese.
leaves us with three key tips to achieving balance.
How can I find and achieve work-life balance?
- Practice mindfulness
Mindfulness means taking the time and effort to focus on what is really going on in the moment. Liese emphasizes the importance of being in the present, and not constantly worrying about what has to happen next.
- Determine what you value
An important step in work-life balance is clarifying what it is that you value and making sacrifices based on those values. If your main values include becoming a successful business person with unparalleled success, your life should reflect those values. However, if you value investing time in your family and friends, your decisions on how you spend your time should reflect that. The important thing is to not just identify what you value, but to make a decision based on those values.
- Try not to pursue happiness as a primary objective
Liese discourages people from pursuing happiness, per se. Rather, happiness is found in the pursuit of doing good. Helping and serving others can bring more substantial happiness than any other task. He says however you choose to understand it, giving to others is likely to bring balance (and ultimately joy) to your life.
- Bruce Liese, family psychologist and professor of family medicine at KU Medical Center.