Many people struggle to achieve work/life balance, but they may be better served by working toward work/life integration. Balance means focusing all your energy on work during work hours and leaving plenty of time to do all your personal tasks and socializing without thinking about work. But most of us can’t achieve that.
We should try finding ways to do both at the same time—to truly integrate our personal and professional lives, says Lifehacker Australia contributing writer Tori Reid. Here are some tips for doing so.
Take a holistic approach. Don’t just think of work/life integration as a way to sneak personal tasks into your workday.
Write a list of your priorities. Write down areas of your life that are available to integrate and begin thinking how each can be worked into your day.
Keep a single calendar. Don’t try to balance separate calendars for your personal and professional tasks and appointments. Write down everything you wish to accomplish for the day, and put it on your one calendar.
Make time to be productive in your personal life. If you can eat at your desk, you can use your lunch hour to work out, see your doctor or take care of other personal tasks. Managing your time this way frees up an hour in your after-work schedule.
Find activities that cover more than one area on your list at one time. Walking your dog will fulfill a health and pet priority. A pedicure with a friend will fulfill the social priority and may be restful and relaxing.
— Adapted from “How To Master Work/life Integration,” Tori Reid, Lifehacker Australia.