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A busy 83-year-old doctor who does triathlons shares his 'square method' for maintaining a work-life balance

A busy 83-year-old doctor who does triathlons shares his 'square method' for maintaining a work-life balance
  • Dr. Joseph Maroon, 83, is a practicing neurosurgeon and eight-time Ironman triathlete.

  • He manages to balance work and fitness with spirituality and spending time with family and friends.

  • He shared his "square" method for maintaining this balance with Business Insider.

Dr. Joseph Maroon has a lot going on.

The 83-year-old is a neurosurgeon at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and for the Pittsburgh Steelers, the medical director for WWE, an eight-time Ironman triathlete, and an author. But he also makes room in his life for spirituality, friends, and family.

Maroon told Business Insider that he believes maintaining balance in his life has helped him stay healthy into his 80s. The alternative is being stressed, which can heighten the risk of developing conditions such as cancer, which estimates say will cost the global economy $25.2 trillion by 2050.

But Maroon didn't always prioritize balance. He began his health journey in his 40s when he became depressed after his father died and he got divorced.

Now, Maroon eats healthily, does triathlons, and makes sure he keeps his priorities in balance using his square method, which he shared with BI.

Dr. Maroon's square method for maintaining balance

First, he writes each of his four priorities — work, family and friends, exercise, and spirituality — at north, east, south, and west positions on a piece of paper.

Then, he draws a line for each priority to represent how much time he spends on each, as if each was the side of a quadrilateral. The aim is to draw a perfect square, with all four sides the same length.

But, chances are, the shape won't be a square. You might draw a flat line if you spend all your time working, or you might have a three-sided shape if you've never thought about building spirituality — whether religion or connecting to nature — into your life.

Maroon draws a square each morning and addresses the balance of all four priorities, planning his time to incorporate each one into his day, even when he's working. He said he tries to be "aware and conscious of all four sides" at all times so that he's never out of balance.

Read the original article on Business Insider