Work & Life: Balance or Integration?

By Eileen Lichtenstein

With all of societies demands today for being a hard worker and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, a balance of the two or integration may be needed to keep you happy.

Many entrepreneurs are integrating work and life which works efficiently with fast paced technology, especially for millennials who are adapting well to this reality. The new 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 development and speed of technology, which it’s been hard to take a step back and come up with a better solution. Boomers on the other hand, are 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 well being, happy family life and relationships. 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. 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. Many entrepreneurs have one phone for business and personal so it becomes difficult to avoid either. There are more entrepreneurs working remotely than ever before, made possible because of technology like Skype, social networking and Google Docs. The work often is from a home office, making it harder to separate work and life and 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.

 

Eileen Lichtenstein, MS. Ed. is CEO, Balance & Power, Inc.

 

 

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