Ten Tips for Work/Life Integration

By Kristy Laue
  • 05.17.24
  • 5 Min Read

We hear a lot about work/life balance. But balance is a tough thing to find, let alone maintain. I mean, have you ever tried holding tree pose for longer than 5 seconds? (It’s hard.) Life’s always throwing us curveballs that call for a little give-and-take.

Instead, I like to focus on work/life integration. This concept is less about finding balance and more about finding harmony. Some days might require more of you at home, and others might require more of you at work. But there are many, many ways you can make space and time for both. Work should fit into your life, and life should fit into your work.

Ten Tips to Help with Work/Life Integration

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1. Set ground rules.

You need healthy boundaries to protect your time and peace. Be there for your team at work, but set rules to make sure you’re there for yourself, too. Examples could be not checking your email after 6pm, not taking your laptop on vacation with you or making sure you take a full lunch hour. My ground rule is that I don’t have email on my phone so that when I do check emails, I can be intentional about it.

2. Don’t let email and Slack rule your life.

Turn off notifications after hours, and resist the urge to check every message the moment it comes in. If you’re working late, schedule after-hours emails to send the next morning so your team doesn’t feel like they’re on-call, too.

3. Use your holidays, vacation, personal and remote days.

Mental breaks, vacations and rest are critical to bringing your best self home and to work.

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4. Find and protect your most productive hours.

Do an audit of when your best work gets done. Try to protect that time from meetings, multitasking or tiny odds and ends that chew up time but aren’t meaningful.

5. Make personal goals and write them down.

We talk a lot about professional goals at L&S, but we make room for personal goals, too. Read a book a month. Go to bed a half-hour earlier. Take a class that interests you.

6. Be realistic about what you can do in a day.

Being honest with your team about what can realistically get done saves you and also saves the client from disappointment.

7. Don’t ruminate – separate.

If you’re like me, you bring work home in your head, even if you’re off the clock. Instead of stewing on your to-do list or replaying a meeting over and over, remind yourself of what you can actually control. Then, distract yourself with a routine that denotes a break in the day – a transition from your work self to your home self. Go for a walk. Take five minutes to breathe. Wash your face! Use a repeatable action to compartmentalize and create a separation in your day.

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8. Schedule catch up time.

Days rarely go as planned. So block an hour or two at the end of each week as “catch up” time where you can do the tasks that got delayed or pushed during the week. Even organizing your to-do list before you leave can feel calming and help you keep work at work.

9. Protect your time.

Don’t be afraid to schedule shorter, 15-minute meetings, block your calendar or say no to a meeting if you can’t/don’t need to contribute.

10. Talk to your coach.

Your team and mentors can’t help with burnout if you don’t tell them you’re on fire. Talk with your coach about solutions to adjust your workload or better manage your time.

Work and life can complement and support each other – it doesn’t always have to be a battle or a perfect balance.

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