Advice on how to successfully manage work and personal life.
Work-life balance is a concept that we hear almost daily. It means different things to different people, with the common conversation based on achieving the infamous ‘balance’.
But is work-life balance really achievable?
Although it can be challenging, it is achievable to live a balanced lifestyle where both work and personal commitments are successfully managed. The difficulty in pursuing work-life balance may lie in the use of the word ‘balance’ to describe the situation. The word ‘balance’ implies a precarious juggling act with the slightest wrong move tipping the whole situation into chaos.
Would ‘integration’ be a more appropriate word to describe managing work and personal commitments?
Integration reflects two or more aspects working together to achieve a common goal rather than a risky, balancing act that can sometimes be an uncontrollable seesaw relationship.
If you think of the situation as integrating two of the most important realms of your life, it may help you in successfully achieving ‘balance’. Integration encourages initiative and making deliberate choices.
The key to success in work-life integration is deliberate choices. This means making sometimes challenging decisions of what opportunities you will pursue and what you will decline in order to successfully manage work and personal commitments.
I’ve spoken with our recruitment consultants, who have integrated a successful career and personal life and here is some advice as to how we integrate our work and personal life at PKL Recruitment.
Define what success looks like for you
What does success mean to you? Do you rely on objective metrics such as your job position, financial security or providing the best you can for your family? Or do you focus on the subjective, such as the satisfaction of solving challenging problems at work, the joy of collaborating with a clever team, or how happy you are at home?
It is important to understand what success means to you. It will never be a concrete idea. Your success will most likely change and evolve as your life changes with new roles or changes to your personal life.
With your definition of success, you will begin to find it easier to prioritise the activities that will help you reach your goals and those that are not productive and may cause unnecessary stress or pressure.
Build a plan and schedule time
One of the common activities that our recruitment consultants do to help them integrate their work and personal lives is planning. Planning your day and week is crucial to managing your time and will give you the opportunity to say no when needed.
A flexible calendar with scheduled work and personal events such as client meetings, gym classes and regular exercise, reading time or dinner with friends is a great habit to manage your time. It will give you clarity as to where you are spending most of your time. If events are scheduled and planned, there is a higher likelihood that you will attend and successfully manage all your commitments.
Proactive scheduling of both work and personal events allows you to plan time to recharge and enjoy life. Once you have focus and clarity in your schedule, you may even notice a reduction in stress levels.
When we think about effectively integrating work and home life, it can be difficult. Life happens and plans can change, altering schedules and allocated home or work time. To achieve integration and successfully manage your commitments, flexibility is the key. Be flexible at blending your work and personal lives and you may eventually find that these two components of life aren’t so separate after all.
So what are you waiting for? Start making deliberate choices, defining success, planning and reward yourself today!
About the Author
Rachel Stefanovski is the NSW State Manager for PKL Recruitment, leading the NSW business support and onsite divisions. Rachel takes great satisfaction in setting a strong and motivated team culture through engaging with intelligent and driven recruitment consultants.