This year has been a roller coaster ride of emotions, challenges and realisations for everyone. The pandemic has brought out many of our self-doubts and fears and also led to us being resilient and finding our strengths. It has pushed us to test our limits, both at home and especially at work. We have all had to learn how to adapt to changes in the way we work and, in many cases, where we work, namely from home.
And as we approach the year’s end, it is worth thinking about how well we managed to master our work-life integration and what can do to ensure that the next time we are pushed to our limits at work, we don’t compromise our personal life.
Mastering work-life integration requires us to accept that striving for balance sets us up. It is important to acknowledge that our personal life and our professional life ebb and flow. Here are some tips to help you move away from striving for work-life balance to embracing work-life integration.
1. Accept that we CANNOT be in balance all the time
Each day is a new day and with it comes different experiences and learnings. And these new experiences and learnings affect our work-life integration daily. Other parts of our life influence our expectations at work and with our personal life. This is why it’s not just about balance, it’s also about integration and harmony of all parts of our life.
2. Be mindful of your expectations
Your expectations on yourselves and others can affect your work-life balance. Avoid falling in the trap of comparing yourself to others when your expectations are not met. We all know those high achievers who seem overachieve effortlessly. Expectations do not always become a reality so don’t think you’re not good enough. Manage your expectations realistically and carefully to avoid the risk of constant negative self-talk and negative comparison with others.
3. Acknowledge the fluidity of life
As mentioned in point 1, each day comes with difference experiences. Acknowledge these new experiences when they come and learn to adapt to changes. These will, in turn, help you influence different stages of your life and, maintain your work-life balance. It is the versatility, adapting and the learning we get from these experiences that helps us better cope with change, uncertainty and volatility of the current world we live in.
Make the conscious choice to manage your work responsibilities alongside your personal and family needs. This will help you integrate your professional life and personal life.
Work-life integration is a choice and it’s a choice you need to make repeatedly every single day.