Neil DeGrasse Tyson: Work And Life Don't Always Have To Be Balanced

Neil deGrasse Tyson: Work and Life Don't Always Have to Be Balanced

We all know how things can spiral out of control if you don't know how to balance your work and home life. However, perfect balance may not always be necessary. In fact, lacking that balance might just help you come up with more creative solutions to your problems.

Picture: NASA Goddard

As renowned astrophysicist and science educator Neil deGrasse Tyson explains, balance is a noble enough goal. Getting there, on the other hand, takes some work. When things are out of balance, the pressure's on to figure out a way to get your work done a little sooner, or to find more creative ways to spend time with your loved ones. The results of that pressure can be a good thing:

There is the psychological discomfort knowing you should be doing something else. And we presume that balance is a good thing... When something is out of balance you can get quite innovative in your attempts to resolve that fact... You don't go to the amusement park roller coaster and say 'I want to be balanced.' No, you want to be as unbalanced as possible, because that's the thrill ride.

Perhaps you don't necessarily want your life to be a thrill ride, but most of us want to find our work and home lives fulfilling. It's often hard to do that if both are perfectly in strict balance all the time. Sometimes you might get overwhelmed with a major work project that you find exhilarating and miss out on a family dinner or two. And sometimes you might need to blow off work for a week or two to take a vacation. Neglecting one or the other is bad, but being slightly out of balance isn't the worst thing in the world.

Podcast: Neil DeGrasse Tyson On Big Data, Race, And Why Work-Life Balance Is Overrated [FiveThirtyEight via Time Money]


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