My concern is that lawyers and other professionals are being unintentionally misled by the pursuit of work-life balance as the solution to professional dissatisfaction and discontent. Work can be structured to be engaging and performed with excellence while experiencing satisfaction and contentment.
Clarissa Rayward’s article “Why Work Life Balance Didn’t Bring Me Happiness (And It Probably Won’t Work For You!),” offers some tips on finding calm when trying to integrate work and life:
- “When it comes to our thoughts, the key is to be present wherever you are.”
- “[W]hen you are distracted, stressed or worried, just stop, be still and take 3 long slow breaths.”
- “When it comes to our actions, we need to be aware of just how we are using our time. We all have exactly the same number of minutes, hours and days in a week, but we can all choose how to use them.”
- “Be aware of how you are spending your time – if you say ‘yes’ to something you are saying ‘no’ to something else so be clear on the things that you want in your life – take control of them and make them your priority.”
- “Try letting go of ‘balance’ and instead aim for ‘now’.”
Lawyers do need balance by enjoying activities outside of work and having friendships and meaningful family time. This does not mean that lawyers are unable to find satisfaction in daily tasks.