Business_news 5 things Nobel Laureates say you should do to be successful

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In an increasingly connected world, it can be difficult to say no to 24/7 accessibility. How can we avoid turning into workaholics but still achieve our goals?Hear from Nobel Laureates

You probably won’t win a Nobel if you don’t spend a large amount of time on one key thing: research. Still, despite the constant traveling, research efforts, teaching, and speaking engagements, Nobel economists rarely show signs of sleep deprivation. What are their secrets to maintaining a healthy work-life balance? We spoke to a few Nobel Laureates who gave us their Nobel guide to more success and fewer worries.

Business_news Step 1. Be passionate about the road you’re taking.

Most of us spend the better part of our day at work. In fact, according to the World Health Organization, one-third of adult life is spent working. Research shows that one of the most important aspects of a healthy work-life balance is to feel needed, appreciated, and to be able to contribute to something of value. Nobel LaureateDaniel McFaddenemphasizes that it’s not about paying a price for success but to make success possible by choosing what we feel passionate about.

“I was never doing my work because I viewed it as a road to success. I did it because I was compelled to do it,” says McFadden. “I’d have these unsolved problems and I simply had to solve them.” You will feel better each and every Monday if you know that there is something waiting on your desk that you will enjoy working on.

Business_news Step 2. Accept that you need a break sometimes.

“Creativity is one of the great rewards of being an academic, and I think you do that best if you’re not doing it 100% of the time,” saysRobert Engle, a financial economist and father of two. “My family expects and deserves equal share.” 

Engle acknowledges that maintaining a healthy work-life balance is difficult, especially for people who push hard on their career. “I think you just have to decide this isn’t a compromise that you want to give up.” He’s a good role model in that regard, says his wife Marianne, a psychologist. “Parenting has been for us one of the best parts of life. He works all the time, but our children didn’t feel it,” she says.

Business_news Step 3. Demand more flexibility.

Joseph Stiglitzknew he wanted to be a professor when he had to write an essay about his dream job in 9th grade. “I don’t know if I knew what it was to be a professor,” the Nobel Laureate of 2001 remembers, “but I knew it was a life of the mind.” 

Over the years, Stiglitz realized that his profession allowed him to live a more flexible life. “I haven’t had to face some of the tradeoffs so many other people have faced,” says Stiglitz. “Academia gives you the ability to control your time more. I’ve been able to work at home, play with my kids, and write.” 

Flexibility in the workplace is something that employees expect today, and employers should provide it. More flexibility leads to reduced stress levels and increased productivity, a win-win for all parties involved.

Business_news Step 4: Don’t be afraid of failing.

Enough with the pressure.Angus Deaton, an expert on welfare economics, has an important piece of advice to share: Be easier on yourself. “You’re not really going to get anywhere in life if it’s all planned step-by-step from when you start,” says the Nobel Laureate of 2015. 

Once the pressure is off, you are more likely to accept turbulent times. “I would tell young people not to worry too much about the meticulously-planned life,” says Deaton. “At some point, you’re going to have to go off that track. You have to find yourself and finding yourself means making mistakes.”

Business_news Step 5. Lower your expectations.

For McFadden, winning the Nobel was a gamechanger in many ways. Still, he would have been equally happy if it had never happened. “Don’t worry about whether there’s a Nobel Prize 40 years down the road or not,” he says. “Concentrate on doing a good job right now.”

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This post was created by UBS in partnership withInsider Studios.

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