Prescriptions to gain balance in your life that go beyond ‘just try harder’

We all need to gain balance in our lives. Get some ideas on how in Dr. Richard Swenson’s book In Search of Balance. (full disclosure – I am not compensated for the Amazon link.)

From my Amazon review:

More and more of everything faster and faster is the phrase Dr. Swenson uses to describe life today.

Eight words that describe all aspects of our world. More and more – a rapidly increasing volume and quality and intensity.  Of everything – all aspects of our life, such as technology, money, every area of knowledge, experiences, entertainment, great books we should read, quality of consumer goods.  Faster and faster – the rate of change is accelerating.

Nobody reading this review needs to be told your life is out of balance. With a moment of reflection we all realize that. That we don’t have a spare moment to reflect is the crux of the problem.

Instead of us just trying harder, or working smarter, or just ‘getting it together’, he provides a series of prescriptions on how to gain equilibrium in life.

We desperately need to regain some work-life balance. He catalogs 29 reasons why we are out of balance: global economy, technology, complexity, interruptions, work hours, overtime, task switching, working from home, job churn, job insecurity, worker loyalty, commutes, sleep deprivation, changing demographics, changing family profile, children, aging parents, speed, stress, burnout, employer drivenness, the female factor, expectations, vacation, boundaries, intensity, violence, absenteeism, workers compensation. No wonder everybody is on overload at work.

Some prescriptions and how to cope?

  • Rx 1 – own the problem
  • Rx 2 – decline with gratitude
  • Rx 3 – defend boundaries
  • Rx 4 – have several gears
  • Rx 5 – obey the speed limit
  • Rx 6 – seek periodic technological solitude
  • Rx 7 – maximize our time at work
  • Rx 8 – maximize energy
  • Rx 9 – get adequate sleep, nutrition, and exercise
  • Rx 10 – beware workaholism
  • Rx 11 – investigate flextime
  • Rx 12 – be productive with margin
  • Rx 13 – lower expectations
  • Rx 14 – delegate
  • Rx 15 – protect time off
  • Rx 16 – stay off the high wire
  • Rx 17 – cherish the home

He also has a series of prescriptions on how to resist the pattern of the escalation in some area of our life becoming the new norm that has to be sustained, doing the math that we are just overloaded and need to admit it, and meeting a decent minimum in every area of our life.

I have several specific prescriptions I’m working on. You can find some prescriptions that will help you regain some balance.

Additional thoughts:

If heard Dr. Swenson at the 2011 CLA conference, you will really enjoy this book as an expansion of his speech dealing with how to address the overload we heard about.

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