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How Unbalanced Is Your Life?

By Dr. Markel, June 17, 2019

If you are frazzled trying to balance all your responsibilities, you are not alone.


According to a recent report, the U.S. ranks 30th out of 38 countries in work/life balance, in the bottom 20%.


As you live a 24/7/365 life, are you trying to be available whenever others “need” you?  Ask, “At home, am I thinking about work rather than focusing on loved ones or critical chores?” Ask, “Am I you neglecting my health and safety needs?’ For example, are you neglecting exercise or overeating, overdrinking or TV binging to relax and de-stress?


There are a variety of negative consequences related to a seriously unbalanced life. In general, there are feelings of stress, fatigue and sustained dissatisfaction. At work, there is poor productivity and job performance. At home, there are missed important life events, and lost opportunities for creative or enjoyable activities. To often, you lose sight of important financial or legal tasks as you rush from one activity to another.


To gain greater balance and satisfaction, consider these seven tips:

  1. Understand you cannot do everything, all the time. Balance means scheduling your time according to your values and prioritized tasks. Practice saying no, nicely and consider ways to delegate, buy, or barter your way out of tedious or mundane tasks.
  2. Adapt the goal of striving for excellence rather than being perfect: Perfection is for the gods, and even the gods of Greece and Rome had major flaws. There is no perfect leader, team member, parent, significant other, caregiver, or community participant.
  3. Realize you can’t beat biology. You need sleep, exercise, and good nutrition to have the mental stamina needed to prioritize, plan, and manage time and tasks.
  4. Stop frittering away your time when overusing or abusing technology. Download apps to stop your access to sites that waste your time (
  5. Gain support from work staff, family and friends by discussing the challenges to work/life balance and ways to help each other to enjoy a more satisfying life. Find out about policies that allow working from home for some portion of the week.
  6. Unplug. Unless you are in emergency medicine, once at home, develop tech-free routines to ensure quiet time for you and your family. Commit to charging devices outside of your sleeping area. At work, stop using devices when eating or when talking with others. Reflect about ways you can stop constant interruptions.
  7. Take short breaks to rest and relax. Even a few minutes of rest between activities recharges your energy and allows for greater efficiency. Rest times may include yoga, meditation, or mindfulness exercises  (

Those who live extremely unbalanced lives have daily frustrations and mishaps. They forget appointments, make careless or costly errors, procrastinate, and clutter their desks, cars, and houses. They lose focus and patience with themselves and others. As the weeks and months go by, they feel more and more dissatisfied, fatigued, stress, and unproductive. With less productivity, they experience fitful sleep and deterioration of physical and mental health.


You can reject excessive demands, irrelevant tasks, and unnecessary responsibilities. Prioritize what is most important and schedule time for those tasks. Focus on what you like and what you do best. If you find you are in a rut and lack the emotional energy or strategies to move ahead, find help with a supportive family member or friend—or consider a few sessions with a mental health counselor or coach.


You can gain greater work/life balance. Are you interested in greater satisfaction and productivity? Contact Geri: