The term “work-life balance” has been in existence for a long time. However, the term “work-life integration” has become common in recent years. In fact, thought leaders have been arguing that work-life balance is technically dead and work-life integration has already taken its place.
The idea of work balance has revolved around the concept of being able to strike a healthy balance between your work and private life. When you go home, you leave your work behind, and when you enter your office, you don’t allow your personal life to follow you. This means your work and life exist on either side of each other. You are either working or living.
Work-life integration, on the other hand, mainly focuses on incorporating various aspects of one’s life to create a wholesome picture. The idea necessitates changes in the ways we communicate and work. This is a relatively new concept in which your work and life are intertwined, and experts perceive it as the future of the working world.
Below are some work-life integration tips to help you move from the traditional work-balance to the newer wave of work-life integration.
Always Schedule Yourself
Don’t sit back and allow other people to dictate your schedule. Get in front and manage your own day. Sit down and plan your time well. Prioritize your daily and weekly activities, and then set a program that will help you stay on track and accomplish everything you have planned. The most significant advantage of planning ahead is you will always wake up knowing what to do. You get that extra motivation to push things forward and accomplish your objectives.
Force Yourself to Disconnect
Sometimes when you come back home, you may still be forced to attend to your office-related duties, such as constantly replying to emails and answering work calls. In time, you might find work is taking the better part of your life. It is advisable you take at least one day every week to turn off all your devices and concentrate on other things that matter in your life. Spend time with your family and enjoy doing new things. Disconnecting will help you recharge and start afresh.
Start Leaving the Office Earlier
Work doesn’t have to happen strictly between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., or 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. As long as you are getting the job done and delivering high-quality results, you can always deviate from the norm. Instead of staying at the office until 6 p.m., talk to your manager to see if you can leave one or two hours earlier and continue attending to work-related calls and emails remotely. Take advantage of mobile opportunities and create some time for yourself.
Identify Your Peak Productive Times
This is perhaps the most challenging thing to accomplish, but it is extremely important. How do ensure you accomplish your tasks on time and deliver the desired results? One of the easiest ways of doing this is by identifying your peak productive time and trying to accomplish some of your most difficult tasks during those times.
Sometimes the concept of batch processing can also be valuable, i.e., group related tasks and handle them all at the same time. For instance, you can decide you will be replying to all your outstanding emails between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. Prioritize your assignments and set self-imposed deadlines.
Make Use of Technology
Today, information technology is at the center of everything we do. You can’t afford to ignore the role it plays in our lives. As such, don’t be afraid to utilize it to your advantage. There are lots of mobile apps that can help you stay on track.
You can schedule and attend meetings virtually through video conferencing, and you can also telecommute on certain days. There are various messaging apps, such as Whatsapp, that allow you to create groups with your coworkers for easier dissemination of relevant information. There are also numerous scheduling programs, such as Google Planner, that can help you manage your time effectively.
Take Care of Yourself
You will not be able to blend your personal life and work life if you aren’t physically and mentally fit. Eat nutritious food, and make physical exercise part of your daily schedule. A two-mile jog before going to work can boost your confidence, lower your stress levels, and make you stop thinking about your daily problems that may negatively affect your work-life integration efforts