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Forget A Balanced Life: 5 Ways To Create Work-Life Integration


Forget A Balanced Life: 5 Ways To Create Work-Life Integration

If you were to ask most people, they would say that living a more simpler, unencumbered life is what they seek. One in which they can learn how to create joy and meaningful engagement in their life, with the important people, relationships, and responsibilities that help define their lives. In essence, learning how to manage, integrate, and blend all the important things and people in their life. 

Like most people I know, I too had to redesign my schedule, priorities, and integrating all the demands on my life. I recently returned to a traditional brick and mortar private practice in Hoboken, New Jersey, have become head of clinical content for a new health and emotional well-being app,, and have starting blogging again. My life now has a few more moving parts and although these new additions are welcomed, I needed to take a step back and reconfigure my day as I also work full time. I recognized the need to do this so that where ever I am doing whatever I need to do at the moment, I have the bandwidth and the physical and emotional resources to give each part of my life my attention. And, spending quality, fun time with my husband is also at the top of my list. 

Having the ability to form, coordinate, blend the different parts into a uniformed whole picture. Learning to blend, not balance. That’s a great philosophy to work towards and ultimately live by.  According to Forbes contributor, Kevin Harrington, believing you can compartmentalize your life into either category – work or life – makes you believe that you can have it all. But the truth is, you cannot. There is no such thing as a perfect balance between those two worlds anymore, because they have become practically inseparable.  The lines between work and life have become blurred. Much of that is the result of technology, which has made it merely impossible to separate those two concepts. Thinking about those two concepts in binary concepts actually creates a competition between those concepts.

Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO, uses the word harmony on his work-life perspective. Sharing his view on work-life balance with Thrive Global a year ago, he wrote, “I think work-life harmony is a good framework. I prefer the word ‘harmony’ to the word ‘balance’ because balance tends to imply a strict tradeoff.” Be in the moment. Be happy where you are. Bezos goes on to say that its key to learn what you need to do during your optimal time and scheduling things that need to be done (gym, writing articles, researching) around the same time with using a somewhat flexible schedule. This creates habit and also allows the person to move into more of a ‘flow mindset.’

How to do just that..

1.) Create a maximum potential. When are you at your optimum? When do you feel depleted? Most of us recognize the times throughout the day when we are at our peak and our ability to create ‘flow’ is optimum. It really is all in the timing. Read this great article here and how to figure that out: How to Be Healthier, Happier, and More Productive: Its All in the Timing.  

Related: 8 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Call It Quits

2.) A week at a time. Don’t get too far ahead and parse out your life a day or week at a time. For example, what do you have to do that takes priority this week or next? Look ahead at your schedule and plan ahead. What needs to be done? What can wait? How important are these things? This will give you something to look forward to and help you see that your life is not being taken over by work.  Think of your life not Monday – Friday, but a week at a time. If we are weekend warriors, then we tend to overdo it on the weekends, making us feel tired and not able to reboot for the coming week. This makes us feel depleted and unable to have a productive coming week. 

3.) Start small and build.  Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither should you believe you can overhaul your life in a day. Remember, slow and steady wins the race. People often try to make drastic changes in their life – all at the same time. That’s just a recipe for disaster. Make a list of the changes you want to make and create a master list. Move one thing over at a time and work on that. Start small. For example, if you want to work less, don’t cut your hours in half, start with cutting back 30 minutes or one hour at a time.  

4.) Limit time-wasting activities and people. Identify what’s and who is most important in your life. Make sure its your list of priorities, not someone else’s. Be genuine and honest. Begin to draw firm boundaries. Start small and say no to the things and people that are most easiest. It gets easier as you continue to do this. else’s. Devote quality time to these high-priority people and activities.

5.) Unplug. From telecommuting to programs that make work easier, technology has helped our lives in many ways. But it has also created expectations of constant accessibility. It seems that one day bleeds into the next. The hours escape us. Learn to put the phone, IPad, laptop away and unplug. Start small and don’t expect to be at it right from the beginning. Learn to enjoy the moment. Be present. Be where you are at the moment.

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