Are you living a ‘groundhog day’ – where you run in circles as the days merge? It’s a common problem. When work takes the best of you, there’s no time or space to think. In turn, the other areas of your life get the leftovers – leaving you feeling short-changed, frustrated, and even resentful.
Without work-life integration, we’ll never be truly happy or successful. If you’re high on one part of life, but failing elsewhere, that lack of balance will throw you off.
But how do you create the work-life integration that ensures you win? Here are 19 suggestions to try.
19 ideas for creating work-life integration today
1. Forget trying to achieve balance
In the past, consensus was to create work-life balance – the idea of arranging your life so all areas feel equal. This practice sounds good in theory, but it’s harder to achieve in reality. There will be times when you have to work late just like there will be times when your relationship or hobbies needs your full attention. So forget balance, instead strive for work-life integration. This principle gives you the flexibility to shift your focus where demand calls knowing that over time you can have it all.
2. Create a morning routine
You get to choose how you start your day, so why not use this time to infuse your life with things you love. For example, journal for 15 minutes, workout for 30 minutes, meditate for 10 minutes, and read for 15 minutes. Mix and match activities that you love and ensure each day starts with a work-life win.
3. Find work that you love
Imagine if work felt more like play than a forced hustle? Imagine if work became a playground for creativity, innovative problem solving, and meaningful conversation. It’s possible when you seek out work you genuinely enjoy rather than settling for a job that only pays the bills. When work isn’t compartmentalized, it’s easier to create more harmony in your life.
4. Spark meaningful conversations in your relationship
When life gets busy, it’s hard to carve out quality time to talk. And when you’ve known someone forever, what do you talk about? When communication stops, intimacy plummets.
5. Plan your day for work-life harmony
Don’t use your daily planner to schedule work tasks and to-dos alone. Instead, plan everything that matters to you. Make time for that evening yoga class or post-lunch walk. Schedule uninterrupted time with your children or space for learning. If you don’t plan your day for work-life integration, you won’t achieve it. True, you may get your work done, but everything else will get the leftovers.
6. Master your time
When it comes to work-life integration, time is your most valuable resource. It’s in finite supply, but if you allocate it wisely, you’ll free up the minutes you need to do more of the things that matter to you. Make it your goal to work smarter and not harder so you can do more in less time. Productivity practices and techniques can help you with this. For example, leverage deadlines, practice zero-hours scheduling, prioritize your tasks etc. Anything you do to stretch your time leaves you with more headroom to play with when creating work-life integration.
7. Know where you’re at
When you’re juggling a million and one priorities, it’s hard to find time to think. In turn, you can lose sight of how harmonious your life actually is. You can’t change what you don’t know you don’t know and knowledge is power. Once you acknowledge and accept that your finances or health is falling short, you’re empowered to do something constructive to transform your situation.
8. Discover what work-life harmony means to you
It’s your life and your time, how do you want to spend it? What do you want to do more of and what do you want less of? For example, do you want more time to play and explore your hobbies and passions? Would you like more time to read, write, and explore new interests? Do you need more quality time for your partner, your children, or your friends? When you’re clear on what harmony looks like for you, it’s a lot easier to mastermind your time so you can make your vision a reality.
9. Set and achieve goals
Do you know you’re falling behind in one area of your life? If so, set a goal – it’s something the Carpe More Diem Planner will help you do. Goals help direct your focus and inspire you to move the needle in an area you want to develop. Whether you want to write a book, lose weight, or grow your business, goals give you the momentum, confidence, and purpose you need to thrive.
10. Review your money habits
Do your financials regularly cause you stress? If so, take some time to overhaul your approach and discover ways to save money, cut unnecessary spending, and get yourself into a healthier financial position.
11. Try something new
Humans are creatures of habit which means it’s easy to fall into a rut and get stuck in your comfort zone. Your comfort zone might feel safe, but it also gets stale, which in turn affects your happiness levels. Give yourself a boost by challenging yourself to try new things. For example, go to the theater alone, get lost somewhere on purpose, or see if you can spend $0 in three days. Thriving in discomfort and pushing yourself to do different not only builds your confidence, but it inspires you with new things to weave into your life.
12. Write a bucket list
Work-life integration is about thriving not just surviving. That means giving yourself the space and time to live your life to the full. A bucket list is a great way to articulate the things you’d like to check off. From the places you want to go to the adventures you want to have, write a Bucket List and take the first step to making your dreams a reality.
13. Get to know yourself better
How much time do you have for deep thinking and self-reflection? When you’re busy hustling and striking off to-dos, you forget to check in with yourself to see what you really want. Practices such as meditation and journaling can give you the headspace you need to get clear on what you desire. Meditation is a practice that not only calms your mind, but helps you tap into deeper level wisdom. In the same vein, journaling is a power practice that can unlock your inner thoughts so you can design your life more consciously.
14. Inspire yourself to think differently
Work-life integration is an ever-expanding challenge. As you grow, explore new things, or experience a significant life change, what you want shifts. But how do you capitalize on the opportunities that show up and the time you have? Ideas are your ticket forward. In fact, a single idea has the potential to change your life. Idea generation is a skill as well as a talent.
15. Make time for yourself
If you spend all your time addressing other people’s priorities, your own desires and needs get pushed off. You can’t create work-life integration if you don’t have quality time for yourself. So each day, ensure you schedule space in your calendar for you. Use this time to do something you enjoy. For example, draw, read, write, paint, dance – find your thing, do it, and watch your work-life integration increase as a result.
16. Build new connections
As social beings, we need to be surrounded by people whose company we enjoy. As Jim Rohn famously said, “you are the average of the five people you spend most of your time with”. If friendships is one area you’d like to work on, there’s plenty you can try. For example, host an event, join Facebook groups of like-minded people, attend a class – figure out what works best for you.
17. Master helpful habits
You are the result of the things you do on autopilot. The more good habits you adopt, the better your life becomes. Whether you want to write more, move more, or increase your health, a habit tracker is a simple, but powerful tool to make habits stick. The habit tracker in the Carpe More Diem Planner is perfect for tracking three month’s worth of habits. Pin it up and check off each successful day to create a winning streak.
18. Write a prioritized to-do list
Each day, you’re allocated 1,440 minutes a day. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you live, everyone gets the same amount. It’s all too easy to squander time when we make unconscious decisions and put other people’s priorities above our own. In turn, important things get pushed and life falls out of balance. When you write a to-do list and prioritize it, you ensure the things that matter most to you happen.
19. Reflect, review, revisit
Work-life integration isn’t a one time job. Instead, it’s an ongoing process that twists and turns as your life priorities change. To stay on track, keep reviewing where you are. Revisit your work-life integration benchmark to see how your scores increase. Review your definition of what work-life integration means to you.
Enhance your work-life integration today
When you create work-life integration, you give yourself the space you need to think bigger and achieve more. How do you ensure you spend your life doing the things that matter most to you? Share your work-life integration tactics in the comments below.
And if you’re looking for tools to help you create work-life integration, we’ve got you!