It is another beautiful Wednesday and I welcome you to another edition of Productivity Wednesday. I hope you enjoyed our last week’s piece on “Work-Life Integration: Is This Our New Reality?” In today’s edition, we will be considering how to achieve a proper Work-Life Integration.

The chance to understand that work and life are in one mix and not separated is the new reality that we are faced with. There is no line to cross; it is just about one whole entity. We have to understand that, we will, at work transact family time by using real time communication tools like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, etc. to attend meetings in kids’ schools for example, book a trip and take work calls and send emails while at home with family. It doesn’t matter because all of this isn’t the balance of time, it’s in the accomplishing of goals and objectives. It is not just about just multi-tasking; it is about fully blending work into life and life into work.

Here are some steps to properly building a Work-Life Integration;

  1. Flexible Work Hours: Firstly, check your organization’s policy manual to confirm if the option of flexi work time is available. If there is none, do your research and engage your employer in a conversation and discuss about the modalities to setting up one.
  2. Understand What Works for You: In order to properly merge work and life, you would have to understand your needs – personal and professional. For example; as a company secretary that would spend long hours trying to read documents which could range from legal documents to financial statements among many other documents, getting a professional training in Audited Financial Statements and other related documents can help ease the time spent working and have more invested in other personal activities. At 21Search, we offer training services and if you are a lawyer or a non-accounting executive and must deal with audited financial statements, you can take advantage of our November diet and equip yourself with this highly sought-after skill. You would also need to understand when you work best i.e. during the day or at night.
  3. Prioritize Your Tasks: I have heard a friend say, “it’s better to have 3 out of 10 tasks complete and excellently done than have 10 tasks 60% done and disorganized”. Organize your tasks and grade them accordingly; starting with tasks that are important and urgent or closer at hand. With this, you can properly figure out what you should focus on and not expend energy and time on less important and less urgent tasks. This will also help create time for personal chores.
  4. Place Productivity Above Hours: Understanding oneself also applies to knowing the time when you have the most productivity. Dedicate those best hours to work; it could be just 3 hours but what you would achieve would be greater or equal to one who spends 8 or 9 hours on tasks. Using your productive hours is investing your time while using long hours and not achieving so much is spending your time; so, choose wisely. This quote by Arianna Huffington summarizes it, “we think, mistakenly, that success is the result of the amount of time we put in at work, instead of the quality of time we put in”.   
  5. Set Some Boundaries: As much as work-life integration is a blending of the “two worlds”, we need to be careful not to have one overshadow the other. More like having too much pepper and too little salt in a pot of jollof rice that is supposed to be a perfect blend of all ingredients in appropriate portions for that tasty delicacy. That would defeat all the efforts you have put in to preparing the dish. Set boundaries on how far work comes and do same for personal tasks (family inclusive). Take breaks when you need to, have adequate hours of sleep and engage in activities that ventilate your mind and refresh you. Remember, no one on his deathbed ever said, “I wish I had spent more time at work.”

In conclusion, work-life integration is the new normal and different incidences have come to sink in this reality. Gone are the days when our parents came home for lunch and spent the hour with us or even had to physically attend every event. Back in the day, there was a clear-cut line between work and life, but times have changed and adjusting to this change is the way to go, in order to remain relevant. I will close this with two quotes: the first by Michael Altshuler, “The bad news is that time flies. The good news is you are the pilot.” Heather Schuck once said, “you will never feel satisfied by work until you are satisfied with life.” Until I come your way again, stay refreshed and work smart not just hard.


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