Do you live to work or work to live?

Do you live to work or work to live?

There’s no right or wrong answer to this question, but it may help you clarify what’s important to you in life.

In a recent issue of Recruiter Daily, life coach Sophie Robertson said we all need to determine what life balance means to us.

“For some people, they really live to work, which is fine. I heard a radio interview with the late Bing Lee and when asked whether he regretted not having spent more time with his family, he replied ‘No, my work has always been very important to me’.

“So there is no right or wrong answer. However it is important that you live according to your own values.”

Robertson suggests people divide their lives into 10 different areas:

  • Health
  • Knowledge and Learning
  • Social
  • Financial
  • Family
  • Partner
  • Spirituality
  • Career
  • Giving to others
  • Giving to self.

Then assess your level of satisfaction in each of these areas.  It will rapidly become evident where your life is out of balance.

Managing your life effectively means balancing each of your priorities and pursuits.  If one significant area of your life is neglected, the whole wheel of life will eventually give way and the road will become bumpy.

There’s no denying that work life balance is a challenge.  John Howard called it a ‘barbecue stopper’ in 2007.  Keeping your career on track, your family happy, your social life buzzing and your bank account in the black often seem adversarial goals.  Life just seems to play an “either/or” game at times. 

In my book, Selfscape: Success through balance, I remind people that we are all busy.  Henry David Thoreau once said: “It’s not enough to be busy, so are the ants.  The question is, what are we busy about?”  If you are able to spend the best part of your time on the things that really matter to you – that speak to your highest values – then life slides along on an even keel.  And what do you get?  Work/life balance.


1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Karen Jamal said,

    “Live to work” suggests one that goes gleefully off to the office each day, and neglects everything outside of that. On the other hand, while “work to live” implies that work is a drag. The secret to a happy life is somewhere in between.

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