Integrating work and life works efficiently with fast-paced technology, especially for millennials who are adapting well to this reality. The phrase “work-life integration” is blending what you do professionally and personally in order to make both happen. The trending shift (away from work-life flexibility and balance) has happened as fast as the development and speed of technology. Some may be finding it difficult to step away from the work-life balance they have worked so hard to attain.
There are several reasons why mastering work-life integration is so essential right now, as well as maintaining personal balance- the kind where you can stand on one foot and not fall down! The balance need not be equal pieces of “the wheel of life” and compromises can be made without sabotaging wellbeing, happy family life and relationships. Keeping a flexible calendar and writing in exercise-gym time, family time etc. can be helpful in the juggling and maintaining balance. Taking meaningful time away from work, whether it be a few hours a day, a weekend or a few days and more vacation can be wonderfully recharging. Below are a few reasons work-life integration or a variation of it are necessary. Tips towards achieving work-life balance and maintaining personal balance are enumerated below that.
- A recent study by the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) found that more than 50% of workers say that work conflicts with life responsibilities at least two or three times per week. Due to this, about 40% of women have delayed having children.
- Working remotely is easier than ever! However, this can make it more difficult to separate work and life, creating a natural integration.
It’s important to honor your own bio-rhythms so that you do work when you believe you can perform the best and do personal activities to break up your day. This is one way you can integrate work and life so that you remain sane and are able to accomplish (almost) everything you want to do from a personal and professional perspective. Taking “joy” and exercise-stretch breaks throughout the day clears your mind, stretches muscles and ups the endorphins (feeling good hormones) and creativity factor.
Keeping a flexible calendar and scheduling things like going to the gym, writing articles, reading, meetings, research at around the same time each day can be helpful to get into habits and have more control over what you’re doing and when.
Whether the problem is too much focus on work or too little, when your work life and your personal life feel out of balance, often times stress, along with its harmful effects, is the result. The good news is that most can take control of stress levels by giving yourself the time to do the things that are most important to you. When life literally is beginning to feel “out of control” or “lopsided” and you feel off kilter, give yourself the gift of time to restore balance. Consider disconnecting as much as necessary for stress reduction and the restoration of balance. Here are some tips to do throughout the day:
- Take Cleansing Breaths: Three sets of deep inhalations through the nose (belly rising) and exhaling through the nose, (abdomen deflating) can (temporarily) change your physiology.
- Stretch: Release/reduce tension and increase energy. Moving Meditation® Fitness Program
- Walk: A five minute walk outside can change your mood and mindset.
- Listen to Music: A mood changer.
- Eat Peacefully: This aids the digestion and gives you “time away”. Leave your office!
- Allow Time: Give yourself extra time for the unexpected.
- Smile and Laugh: Humor has been proven effective in reducing stress.
- Take a mini-vacation: Disconnect for a few hours.
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