With everyone being connected 24/7, is achieving work/life balance really just a pipe dream? For most people it is more about creating a blend of the two, not necessarily creating two separate pieces in balance. So instead of continually trying to achieve balance between the two, consider integration instead. When you integrate your work with your life you are more likely to be happy and achieve success.
Part of achieving the proper level of work/life integration is knowing when to disconnect. Consider these mind-blowing statistics about how connected today’s society is:
· 75% of people admit to texting while driving
· 39% say they wait for a red light before texting
· 26% of car accidents are caused by phone usage
· 61% of people sleep with their phone next to their bed or under their pillow
· 76% of women said they check their smart phones at least once an hour, and half of those admitted to checking it every 15 minutes
· On average, people check their phones 110 times per day
· 12% admit to using their phones while in the shower - I’ve drown two phones (not in the shower) and don’t recommend this!
· 44% admit to checking work email while on vacation
So I think we can all agree that disconnecting is a first step. But beyond that, we must focus on three areas: environment, emotions, and expectations.
Create a work environment that energizes you. Whether it is having fresh plants around, displaying positive quotes, having access to direct sunlight, etc., do what you can to create an environment you can thrive in. Do the same at home.
Stop feeling guilty and worrying. Emotions like these suck the life out of you. If you are feeling guilty about having to check work email at home, set aside a certain time to do it and devote the rest of the time to your family’s needs. Take charge of your day.
There are only 24 hours in a day, so be realistic about what you can achieve. Delegate when you can, and schedule downtime for recovery. Don’t be afraid to say no. By saying no to things you don’t want in your life, it leaves more time to say yes to the things you do.
One final tip is to put yourself first. In order to be your best self, you must take care of yourself both mentally and physically. Don’t over extend to the point you can no longer consistently put the best “you” forward – whether it is at work or home.