In some circles, discussions about work life balance have shifted to talking about work life integration. Whatever you call it, many people are searching for a way to juggle their personal and professional roles.
More than half of all employees say that job demands sometimes interfere with their personal responsibilities, according to a study by the American Psychological Association. Try these suggestions to help you meet your daily challenges.
1. Make your own decisions. Everyone’s definition of success looks different. Focus on what makes you happy and productive. Consider whether you and others may be projecting your own assumptions when you comment on someone else’s lifestyle.
2. Consider your boundaries. Some workers find it disruptive to take business calls after office hours. Others feel stressed if they’re out of touch for any long interval. If possible, negotiate an arrangement with your employer that is comfortable for both of you.
3. Think long term. There are always trade-offs. Assess whether frequent overtime or spending more hours with your family will make you happier when you look back on what you did with your life.
4. Update your plans. Your answers may change as you go through life. Check in frequently to stay on track. You may be eager to gain new experiences when you first graduate from school. As you approach retirement, you may want to volunteer more in your community.
5. Give yourself credit. It’s common to feel guilty about working too little or too much. Focus on doing the best you can.
6. Remain flexible. Financial constraints and other factors may influence your decisions. Work with whatever circumstances you face while you try to improve them.
1. Be realistic. Establish your top priorities and stick to them. If you’re struggling with your to do list each day, you probably need to cut back on the less important tasks.
2. Get organized. You can accomplish more when you have solid systems in place. Look for ways to run your errands more efficiently and keep your surroundings free of clutter.
3. Limit distractions. Maybe you lose track of time watching TV or talking on the phone. Reclaim those wasted hours.
4. Schedule downtime. Your mind and body need adequate rest. Take a warm bath or meditate daily.
1. Recognize individual differences. Some people are content viewing their job as just a paycheck, and others blend their paid work with the rest of their life. Any combination is okay as long as you find fulfillment.
2. Ask for support. Help from family and friends or paid services can help you to focus on your strongest areas. Ask your children to take on more chores or consider hiring a house cleaner. Use the extra free time to pursue a promotion or start a vegetable garden.
3. Reach out to others. Look for ways you can provide the same kind of assistance to those around you. Team up with a coworker so you can cover each other’s work on sick days or vacations rather than creating a backlog for when you return.
4. Take care of yourself. Keeping yourself fit enables you to contribute at home and at the office. Eat a nutritious diet, exercise regularly, manage stress, and stick to a regular sleep schedule.
5. Be yourself at work. As much as possible, reveal your authentic self at work. It will liberate others to do the same. You’ll also be more likely to form true friendships with your colleagues, which will make your days more pleasant.
It’s a big job to coordinate all the facets of your life. Think about your definition of success and what it means for how you align your personal and professional responsibilities.