Ritual: Creating Better Time

Shelley Hawthorne Smith
University of Arizona

how to interact with this presentation

The goal of this presentation is to provide space to reflect on our core values and rituals we can use to maintain and cultivate those values. We recommend reading the introduction below, then navigating through the following parts in order.

You also can download a PDF version of this presentation by clicking here.


The issue of work/life balance persists because of our inability to create more time—more time to sleep, more time to organize calendars, more time to do research for an article. In both my life as a professional and my life as a mother of three young children, I often feel a desire for more time.

Somehow, in a particularly busy time in my life—we were moving, my children were returning to school, and the pressures of a new semester were mounting—I managed to go to a workshop on moving through one’s career. During the workshop, the group did an activity similar to this presentation in which we reflected on our individual values. While I did not feel that the activity was particularly useful for moving forward in my career, it did something better; it expanded my sense of time.

This presentation offers an alternative to hurrying. Despite our inability to create more time, we do have the capacity to create better time. This presentation uses the concept of ritual as a tool in the quest for work/life balance.

image source

Ariff Ahmad Tajuddin (2013). Balancing [cover image]. Available through Creative Commons.


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