Since starting my firm less than one year ago, I have diligently practiced the concept of work life blending. (Yeah, kinda like a smoothie). One of the reasons I left corporate America after a successful 17-year career was to have my cake and eat it too -- not to balance. I have a family (and want to keep it) and I have a life—a pretty exciting, adventurous one. (Well, as adventurous as a life can be with a newborn), and I love what I do for work and I am willing to go to the extreme to do it.
How do I work life blend?
1. I treat everything—work, me time, family time, lifestyle/friend time—seriously. It’s on my calendar. My daughter’s scheduled C-section was on a calendar meeting request to her father and my mother. Yep, that’s how serious I am.
2. I use a lot of cool tech platforms and tools for communicating with clients. My favorites right now are Slack, a real-time messaging, archiving, and search tool that all the hip companies are using and Sococo, an online workplace that facilitates collaboration.
3. I work off hours. There is no need for me to sit at a desk from 9-5pm local time. And who turns their phone off at 5pm anyways? I have clients all over the USA so working off hours is a necessity. My Mondays start with a client’s executive team call at 7am. My other days usually start at 10am. I work at 8pm most nights (never Tuesdays—I have beach volleyball league). Bottom line, I do not need to be in my office physically for 8 hours straight to get my work done.
4. I incorporate flexibility. I schedule my day around my commitments and accomplish my work. I may take a 9am Body Pump class or take my baby to a Music Together class at 4:30pm (and take a call enroute). Often, I work again at night after the baby goes to bed.
5. I combine work travel with family/fun travel. I think the term they use for this is “bleisure”. I travel a lot for work. It’s easier to tack on a family holiday or girls weekend when you’re blending work and life.
6. I communicate. My family and my clients always know “what’s next?” Whether that be my next biz trip or our next deliverables or action items. See #1.
My life has completely changed for the better in the past nine months and most of the credit goes to work life blending. I engage with life and work together. Are you ready to drop the balancing act and start blending? What are you doing to have a better blend of work and life? Any other tips/tricks people out there have to blend your work and life better?