5 Steps to Finding Your Groove

Christine Carter suggests 5 ways to balance work and life.

Christine Carter in her backyard in Berkeley, California. Photograph by Blake Farrington

1. Take Recess

When we give ourselves a break from overwork, we increase our brainpower and convert stress into productive and creative energy. Have some playtime.

2. Switch Autopilot On

This doesn’t mean being “mindless” and bumping into walls because we don’t know where we are. It’s about using our brain’s natural ability to run on well-grooved habits, which are more powerful than willpower in carrying life’s burdens.

3. Unshackle Yourself

Take time to break free from things that tax us, like our smartphone’s constant siren song. It opens the door to more joy, and it’s much simpler to do than you think.

4. Cultivate Relationships

What are friends for? Lots of things. It’s a cliché and it may sound hokey, but life is simply hard to pull off all by ourselves, and there is solid science that tells us our brain is healthier when we nurture our connections to others.

5. Tolerate Some Discomfort

Do what it takes to develop mastery, which makes hard things easy; have the courage to follow your passion and purpose; and learn how to bounce back when the going gets rough.