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Work Life Balance

Separating your work life from your home life can be a difficult thing to do, and in some cases, it might be something that is entirely impossible to do. You see, for some people, creating a hard line between their work life and their home life. This is something that is getting much harder to do especially since we’re all working from home for the foreseeable future and that’s completely fine because here’s the thing maybe separating your work life from your home life isn’t the best thing to do. Maybe the best thing to do is for you to start integrating your work life into your home life and stop drawing such hard lines to separate the two.

Let’s get into it.

What is work-life balance anyway? Work-life balance is a state of a perfect balance between the time that you spend working and the time that you spend with your family. Oftentimes, this requires you to set clear, hard boundaries between the two things and hope that the two doesn’t collide, upsetting the perfect balance that you’ve created for yourself; these two worlds will exist independently of one another, and in an ideal world, both will thrive independently. But here’s the thing, life is often not very ideal and there will come a time where you will have no choice but to do some work even when it’s technically your off time or your family time. This will then push the priority from one side to another, eating the latter’s portion of your time and no matter how you see it, this simply does not work, especially if you have a full-time job and are trying to run a side gig that you can only work on after you get off of your full-time job.

So is there a solution to this? Is there a better way to manage things so that you always have time for both yourself and your family? Well, yes, there is, but it’s not what you think it is.

It’s called work-life integration.

Work-life integration is better than work-life balance simply because, instead of doing things when you’re supposed to do them i.e. when you’re at the office, you do them because it’s the best time for you to do so. So let’s say you’re communicating with a potential client for your side hustle but it’s already your off-hours, with work-life balance in mind, you’ll never get to reply to that email when you need to, you’ll only get to reply to it the next day, and maybe by then the potential client would’ve found another person to work with. With work-life integration, on the other hand, you get to reply to that email whenever you think would be the best to do so because you’re not drawing hard and fast rules about what is your work time and what is your home time, rather, you’re given the freedom to navigate those two things to manage the craziness that is life, and find a way to make both work at the same time.

So how do you do it?

Well, first of all, you’ll need to know what work-life integration means to you.

As with every new thing in life, you will have to need to figure out what all of this will mean to you simply because it won’t look the same for everyone. Think about it long and hard and figure out if work-life integration will give you more time for creative projects, reduce the stress you feel when you leave your work at work, will it allow you to better take care of yourself, or will it help you connect better with other family members? You need to get a good idea of what you’re doing and what all of this can give you before you make any major commitments to do something that you might not even like in the first place.

The second thing you’ll need to know is to change your perspective.

Sometimes, with work-life integration’s core principles of no barriers separating things in your life, you’ll begin to see everything blur together, and if you’re not used to it, you’ll have a tough time adjusting yourself to these changes you’ve made, so changing your perspective before you move forward with this commitment is something that you’ll need to do. Think of work-life integration as more of a flexible routine rather than trying to fit everything into a full day. Not only will doing this prevent you from getting too overwhelmed from trying to fit everything into a day and not achieving the maximum results that you would’ve otherwise gotten, but it will also allow you to assimilate into this new habit that you’ve just created for yourself which will make it easier to stick with it in the long run.

Sometimes arranging work and life can be something that is not only challenging but also something that is intensely complicated and this is exactly what work-life integration can help you solve when done properly. But here’s the most important thing, if it doesn’t work for you, then there’s no point in you trying to force this habit into your life. If balancing work and life works fine for you, then you should stick to it. Though a change of pace might be something you’re looking for, if it upsets the balance that you currently have, maybe it’s not the right thing to do, but whatever you do, just remember that it’s your call.

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