How to Find Work-Life Balance with Moderation

Almost everything from coffee, red wine and even desserts can be good for us, if we indulge in moderation.

Moderation, or the act of being balanced mentally and emotionally at work, can also bring us great results.

Working day and night may bring great financial rewards and career success, but it’s not that great if you have no time to enjoy it. That’s why moderation works.

Here are five ways that moderation can help you at work:

1. Better Health

We all work better when we are healthier as opposed to feeling under the weather. This is perhaps the biggest advantage to behaving moderately when it comes to eating and drinking habits.

The less salt, sugar and fat we take into our body, the more energy we will have during the work day. A few drinks after work or a glass of wine with dinner might actually help us relax, but getting smashed and coming to work hung over is never a good way to start the day.

Even exercise should be moderated, unless our job is to be a marathon runner or triathlete. Walking versus running and softball versus football might also make sense if you want to focus on work and not on aching muscles.

Find your own moderate balance with diet and exercise, and get a good night sleep for maximum performance at work.

2. Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Well, you don’t have to be slow, but a steady performance at work is often much more appreciated than the fast and furious approach that we sometimes take.

When we are moderate in our work, we are careful and make fewer mistakes. That not only increases our productivity but also our supervisor’s appreciation of our work.

Quantity is important — very important in some jobs — but in most occupations quality is even more important. You simply can’t maintain the highest level of quality in your work if you are going too fast.

It’s not just that you might make mistakes, which you probably will, it’s that you won’t have time to plan or think or make things better.

3. Burning the Candle at Both Ends Hurts

Working late every day or working every weekend may be great for your personal sense of accomplishment. But without time to regenerate, our bodies as well as our minds will eventually run out of gas.

We need that downtime away from work to nurture ourselves and connect with our families and our communities. That in fact will make us better workers when we come back into the office after the weekend.

Most employers have also realized this as well and some have gone as far as to limit overtime and make vacations mandatory. They want their employees to succeed and be successful for a long period of time.

That’s why many of them encourage employees to start their work a little slower and build up experience and stamina as they learn how to work not just faster, but more effectively as well.

4. Get a Break from Stimulation

We live in a world of instant adrenaline. At work there’s always a buzz, something happening, something to plug into, listen to or engage in.

That helps many of us not only stay awake and attentive, but encourages us to keep moving and be more productive at work. But there is a downside to all this external stimulation that we try to turn off by putting on our headphones on the way home. There’s so much noise that we can’t hear ourselves think.

The value of moderating how much we let this external stimuli affect us is that we free up time and space to think again.

When we think we have the opportunity to come up with new solutions to old problems or to create new products, services or systems. This dramatically increases our value to our employer and just may help us feel more human as well.

5. Enjoy your Life, Even at Work

Moderation can bring us a little piece of serenity, even at work. The practice of moderation is really about keeping ourselves in balance.

We need to acknowledge and look after all parts of ourselves if we are going to be happy and healthy human beings. If any aspect of us is out of balance, it’s like the wobbly leg on our kitchen table. Sooner or later it will cause the table to fall over.

When we practice moderation we learn to relax a little more, and while we still work hard, we may find that both the quality and quantity of our work will increase.

Being moderate doesn’t mean we can be slow or lazy. That is just tipping the balance too far the other way. Living our lives in moderation is not boring either.

It actually means we can have the best of both worlds, at home and at work. We may not be able to have a second piece of pie, but that’s no reason why we can’t absolutely and completely enjoy that delicious first piece. We can enjoy our lives, even at work.

What ways do you find moderation helps you in your life, at home or at work?


Mike Martin is a freelance writer and consultant specializing in workplace wellness and conflict resolution. He is the author of Change the Things You Can (Dealing with Difficult People). For more information about Mike please visit: Change the Things You Can


  1. Paris on the 29th October

    Another great post. I constantly find myself struggling to find balance, and know a lot of other people who are similarly struggling to balance work and study. I particularly connected with you’re point about burning the candle at both ends – it’s so detrimental and yet so many of us do it. I’m currently trying to avoid this by living by a Rule of 8: 8 hours of work, sleep and leisure every day. I’ve been blogging about my experiences, and think you may find it interesting, as it really is an effective means at negotiating work-life imbalances –
    – Paris

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