Many times we talk about keeping our work separate from our personal lives.Trying to make this balancing act work often goes against us. Recent studies from Harvard Business Review showed that integrating your work into personal life is a much better strategy then compartmentalizing it. It may seem like a strange strategy but has proven to work and make you a less stressed worker.
Cognitive Role Transition
The idea is something called cognitive role transition and it means when you shift from one role in life to another one. During this transition you experience the different feelings that come with that new role. If you try to separate your work persona from who you are then this is when a major discord can begin.
In the study it was also found that those who had a more fluid transition between work life and personal life were profoundly less stressed. The boundaries they put up were lessened and they weren’t afraid to work during playtime or vice versa. Confining yourself to a set of hours is a dangerous boundary.
For example trying to avoid all business related work on the weekend could backfire on you. Instead of dreading the start of the workweek, you need to work with it and accept it as it is. A simple solution to dealing with both personal and business calls can be met. One such solution is the Dual-SIM smartphones from Sony, one second you can be talking to a friend and then switch over to a business related call. It’s a simplistic solution to a larger problem.
Planning Your Time Wisely
More company leaders and those in management understand that the usual nine to five timeframe isn’t as productive as it is for some as it is for others. That’s why if you need to work at a different time, you should find a job that can either accommodate that or switch it up in your current job. A lot of your working can be done outside of the outside as well these days.
Some days you may be working late at home, but it’s at least at your own comfort and discretion. You need to figure out what works best for you in the meantime and then plan around that.
Integration of Work & Play
It would also be wise to rethink how you view the weekend. Instead of turning Sunday into a drag, it can be just as productive or a great recovery day for the week. Don’t make any particular time of the week your main focus for fun or for work. Try to split it evenly throughout the workweek.
Another distinction that can make the transition between works harder is how you view coworkers. It’s silly not to think of these people as your friends as you are all together all day. Imagine if you weren’t friends with your old schoolmates. If the job calls for it, spend some time socializing and you’ll thank yourself for it Integration is the key alternative to finding a work and life balance.
Edward Bradley is a product photographer and writes about photography, product marketing and how to create a successful business from scratch that doesn’t burn you out. His articles appear on business blogs, photography and tech sites.