Work-life balance is never simple, and you may find yourself unsure of when or how to devote your attention too often competing for commitments. Perhaps you devote too much time to your personal life, causing your job to suffer, or perhaps you devote so much time to work that you miss out on opportunities to interact with family and friends, pursue hobbies, or simply de-stress.
What if, instead of balancing, you concentrated on integrating the various needs of your everyday life? We asked members of the Young Entrepreneur Council how they may achieve work-life integration, rather than work-life balance, to understand more about what that means and how you might do it.
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Here’s what they had to say:
1) Distribute Responsibilities.
The new work-life balance is work-life integration. Rather than trying to keep things separate, the goal is to find a method to bring them together. If it’s easier, do some work from home, schedule some remote work time, and find ways to manage personal errands and tasks while at work. It’s all about mixing tasks effortlessly to build a day that works for you.
2) Stick to a Timetable.
To see if you’re accomplishing proper work-life integration, write down how you spend each hour of your day.
By keeping track of what you’re doing, you’ll be able to make changes in the future to better integrate work into your life and make it less of a chore.
3) Do Your Work With a Goal in Mind.
Work and personal life must be kept distinct in order to achieve balance. We’re more linked than ever before, and technology has made many aspects of our lives intertwined. Work-life balance can be achieved by focusing on a single goal: living a happy, fulfilled life. Make sure that your acts are meaningful in every way. Decide when you’re going to work and why you’re going to work, not merely to keep track of time.
4) Don’t Try to Divide And Conquer.
The concept of work and life being separate is a very old one. When everyone worked the conventional 9-to-5 schedule, it made sense. However, in the digital age, when everyone carries a gadget, the various parts of life tend to converge. The best approach is to be adaptable and accept that work will impinge on your personal time. (Of course, the opposite is also true!)
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5) Work in Bursts of a Few Minutes.
Working in small bursts can help you break up your workday. For instance, sit down with one specific goal in mind and complete it in 30-45 minutes. After you’ve completed that work, go for a walk, spend time with your spouse, or simply rest. Then do it again.
6) You Must Genuinely Enjoy What You Do.
If you desire a satisfying work-life balance, you must genuinely enjoy what you do—to get up each morning knowing you are doing what you were born to do. Work and life will be properly blended with that passion and purpose.
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7) Make the Most of Your Phone.
I don’t want to feel attached to my desk at any time. I enjoy being able to carry my work with me wherever I go during the day. Invest in mobile technology and software that allows you to work efficiently from any location and at any time.
8) Discover the Best Work Atmosphere For You.
Everyone does not function in the same way: Some people thrive on structure and working in a group setting, such as an office, while others find clarity and vitality by working alone. Would work from home allows you to concentrate better? What about while you’re on the road? Find your preference and try to live according to it as much as possible. When people are happy, they work more.
9) Concentrate On Output Rather Than Time Spent.
It doesn’t matter how many hours you work in a day; what counts is how much you get done in that time.
The same can be said about spending time with friends and family—rather than focusing on how much time you spend on your personal life, think about how you can make that time more valuable and meaningful.
10) Be Flexible With Your Expectations.
Some people have unrealistic expectations: they believe they will be able to do all of their tasks on time and still have time for their hobbies or passion projects. However, if you want to attain a work-life balance, you must change your expectations. Prepare for days when you’ll need to spend extra time on work and make up for it later, for example.
11) Make a Mental Shift.
To avoid feeling pressured or overworked, you’ll want to start playing the mental game of work-life balance versus integration. True work-life integration necessitates practice and a new way of thinking about work. You must modify your perspective and realize that work is an inevitable aspect of life that should not be despised.