Seven Tips to Attain Purpose and Happiness in Life and Work - Slide 5

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Of course, you can’t base everything on work schedules. There are times your family needs you more than others: birth of a new baby, when a child starts school, or when an older parent is having a crisis and needs you to care for him/her. At times like these, you will want to put in the family time and make it up when you can at work. Just as with your work, you can plan for some of these seasons, but other busy seasons might pop up unexpectedly — such as a sick parent. You have to be ready to adjust to the season. You have to go where you are needed. If you are worried about work at those times, you can take comfort in knowing that there will be a period when you can apply more of yourself to the job.

If there’s one thing that just about every IT professional on the planet can identify with, it’s the difficulty in striking a work/life balance. The nature of the job is such that not only is there no such thing as a 40-hour work week, there’s no such thing as a week in which you really know how many hours you’ll be working. So how on earth do you create a balance under those extraordinary circumstances?

According to workplace consultant and author Jon Gordon, you don’t. In fact, he says, you need to throw the idea of striking a work/life balance out the window, because it’s unattainable, and striving for it will lead to nothing but frustration and disappointment. Instead, Gordon advises that you think of it as establishing a natural work/life rhythm, much like the rhythm of the seasons.

Gordon, whose most recent book is “The Seed: Finding Purpose and Happiness in Life and Work,” has come up with a list of seven tips on how to attain that elusive goal.

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