Best-selling author, Jennifer Weiner, is an excellent example of work/life balance. Not only is she writing best-selling books every year, but she carves time to go on 100-mile bike ride adventures, bakes bountiful bundles of bread and pastries, and she is learning how to play the piano! She is undoubtedly one who inspires us all to follow the path of least resistance, also known as the pathway to fun.
You may argue that you do not have time to rest and recreate yourself. But I am here to tell you if you do not take that time, you are missing out on innovative, cutting-edge ideas. Can you accomplish a lot by maintaining a high level of focus for an extended period of time? Of course, but you are limiting yourself by not allowing some of the most creative, delicious ideas to rise inside of you. You will only create from a space of narrow focus. When you rest and release the stress, you allow ideas and visions to percolate, the seeds that sow great dividends in the end.
Not only will the ideas inspire creativity, but the path will lead you to more extraordinary lengths of joy. Wouldn’t you rather feel happy instead of stressed, attempting to complete many tasks? Wouldn’t you rather laugh a little more instead of pulling your hair out because you are trying to meet a million deadlines? Is it worth it when you look at your kids and suddenly are getting ready to graduate from high school when what seemed like a minute ago they asked you to tie their shoes? Okay, this last one may have been laced with a bit of guilt, but I had to get your attention.
How do you work less?
- If you’re grading all weekend, stop assigning so much! You don’t have to assess every assignment. Have the students peer assess. Remember, work smarter, not harder.
- Write a list of all the things that bring you joy, and revisit one per week; this is a great way to reconnect with what you genuinely love to do. It allows your mind to escape, and you will energize your body and mind.
- Stay present. Challenge yourself to immerse yourself in the task at hand. When we are entirely in the moment, we are not ruminating about the past or worrying about the future. The power is focusing on the moment!
These ideas will help you feel empowered and energized. Jennifer Weiner, a full-time author, prioritizes time to doing the things that bring joy. She shows us that we can create time for ourselves yet still meet the demands of her job. Yes, it appears she can work less and accomplish more, but it is creating that balance and enjoying every moment.