3 Steps to Achieve a Better Work-life Balance Yourself

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3 Steps to Achieve a Better Work-life Balance Yourself
Anneke Zwart, Student (University), Netherlands

People often tend to put work on the first place; leisure comes only second. This has to do with our perception/prediction that we do not enjoy our leisure time taken before work is done as much as our leisure time taken after our work has been done.
O’Brien and Roney (2017) investigated to what extent this prediction fits with reality.
The findings are interesting and important: "we may be over-worrying and over-working for future rewards that actually will be just as pleasurable in the present.” This is a valuable outcome, particularly because of the difficulties people have with work-life balances. Putting leisure last might lead to everlasting postponing when there is always more work to do. This increases the chance of feeling burned out at work.
O’Brien (2017) developed 3 steps that helps to better allocate work and leisure:
  1. RECONSIDER THE REASONS WHY YOU HESITATE TO ALLOCATE SOME OF YOUR TIME TO LEISURE: Will delaying the gratification actually pay off? It is important to critically think about the reasons why you tend to put leisure last.
  2. VISUALIZE THE LEISURE EXPERIENCE IN MORE DETAIL: This will help you to remember that enjoyment is immersive; putting it before work will not affect the experience.
  3. IN CASE OF LOW STAKES, GO FOR 'LEISURE FIRST': Try to experiment with putting leisure first, and focus particularly on the experience of returning to work after leisure. The idea behind this step is that the best strategy to fight against your biases is to experience those biases yourself.
Do you think the 3 steps described above will help find a balance between work and leisure?
O’Brien, E. (2017) “Stop Putting Off Fun for After You Finish All Your Work” HBR July
O’Brien, E. and E. Roney (2017) “Worth the Wait? Leisure Can Be Just as Enjoyable With Work Left Undone



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