Work AND life balance, or work life integration

The moment I started this blog, exactly 2 years ago, the intention was to help and promote a balanced lifestyle, in all areas from work, to personal life, health and community. I never believed in a strict delimitation between personal and professional life, but rather in blurred lines and achieving happiness in each of these areas.

Work Life Balance (WLB)

The concept promotes a clear separation between work, business and a career (the “9 to 5” approach), and everything “personal” such as family, kids, health, and community. A lot of theories around “how to achieve work life balance” go towards teaching us how to make time for the things that matter.

But this concept is simply unrealistic in my opinion, as, firstly, our time is limited and no matter how we do the math, we simply cannot “buy” time to cover all areas separately. Secondly, in a such connected world it’s hard not to check work emails during your free time, or solve personal matters during your working hours. Strict limitation is a utopia and, I believe, not something many would actually want.

Work and life balance

Two years ago when I started this blog the “work life integration (WLI)” concept didn’t exist. Still, it fits perfectly with everything I am talking about when I refer to “work and life balance (WALB)”.

This concept goes beyond just having a job, and spending equal time working vs. spending time with your personal matters. It’s about living the life you desire. Working where you feel you can really contribute in the way you want to make a difference. Spending time with the people that matter. Give your time to hobbies that balance, grow or make you feel more happy.

Work life integration, or Work and life balance, is about:

***I’ve included links to further reading that helps clarify the concepts and mostly, help you achieve these should you need to

  1. Looking at how you spend your time. Ideally, your work should be something you love doing. If your hobbies are the exact opposite of what you do at work, it might be a good time to reconsider your life’s direction and how that relates to your career path. Same applies for the time spend with the right people, the ones that help you grow rather than put you down. [Read more about¬†finding your purpose,¬†removing toxic people form our life, what is happiness]
  2. A tight connection between personal and professional goals. Your work should also help you achieve personal goals while what you do on your free time help you become a better person for your job as well. [Read more about finding your passions, grit and achieving success, hygge – the Danish way to happiness]
  3. Working for a company you love doing work you enjoy and feel good doing. Your job is a very big part of your life, don’t waste it for too long. [Read more about achieving happiness at work]
  4. Working towards YOUR long-term goals. Think about these goals and write them down. It will be then easier to see wether you’re wasting your life living someone else’s dreams. [Read more about finding your purpose, thinking about the meaning of your life]
  5. Staying true to your values and evolving with them. In everything that you do, it’s crucial to know you’re doing the right thing according to what you believe in. Failing to do this will only cause you unhappiness, which will then cascade in all areas of your life. Be bold and take the right decisions as early as you realize you need to. [Read more about adaptive values]

Happy Anniversary WALB blog, and let’s continue to help more and more people be themselves and happy to contribute to a better self!