In more recent years, the line between work and personal life has blurred with the appearance of all sorts of mobile and interconnected devices. We continually find ourselves looking over work-related emails in the evenings, filing reports after hours, or chatting with friends over social media when at work. Try as we might, but it’s becoming increasingly hard to differentiate the two.
Having a clear divide between our work and personal lives is what the concept of work-life balance is all about. It states that we should give 100% of our time and dedication to our work, while at work, but once we leave, we focus solely on personal time. Nevertheless, this approach of balancing these two worlds like this is made obsolete by this new digital environment.
Luckily, however, a new concept has taken its place and one that addresses these issues. It’s called work-life integration and works by actually mixing the work and personal life healthily and productively, to better fit this digital environment that we live in.
Here are three steps that will help you achieve work-life integration.
Know Your Needs
Since everyone leads a different lifestyle and has its likes, dislikes, wants, and needs, there cannot be a one-size-fits-all approach. It means that you will have to design the schedule that works best for you.
Created by Stewart D. Friedman, the founding director of the Wharton Leadership Program and Wharton’s Work/Life Integration Project and professor at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, has designed an exercise called The Four Circles. It is designed in a way to help you identify what matters.
To do that, you will need to think of life as a whole concerning four criteria – work, home, community, and self. The point behind this exercise is for you to experience a “four-way win” every single day.
This step can be easier said than done for some, but it is an incremental element of work-life integration. You cannot mix your work and personal life if you are supposed to work a fixed 9-to-5 schedule. A lot of people nowadays are working remotely, which allows for a much higher degree of flexibility than a fixed program. As long as you get the job done on time, it doesn’t matter when or from where you work.
If the company you work for does not have a flexi-time policy, consider a meeting with your manager to present them with the facts and advantages. Do some preliminary research on the matter and see what other companies in your industry offer this sort of schedule.
Center Yourself on Productivity
Many people tend to measure their progress regarding hours spent. Unfortunately, however, going on time alone can lead to procrastination, which, in turn, leads to less productivity. And nothing throws work-life integration out of whack more than not completing anything. You need to be efficient with your time if you expect to manage everything, and this means that you need to focus on results.
Prioritize your assignments and chores, and set deadlines for yourself. Also, consider Steve Olenski “two-minute rule.” If you have tasks that require less than two minutes to complete, do those first to avoid any pile-ups throughout the day.
Work-life integration is a healthy and active way for working women and mothers to juggle both their family and career, all the while having some time set aside for self-care. Nevertheless, it takes some determination and a proper regime to get it right. For more information on how to balance your personal life and career, join us at the Women’s Self Care Conference on October 20, 2018. Don’t miss out on our early bird tickets!