A lot has been written about work-life-balance. Like, a lot. An interesting outcome of the Millennial generation taking our rightful place on the throne of everything is that we’re more inclined to blend our work and life than we are to balance (or compartmentalize it). Blending work and life means checking Facebook and online grocery shopping at work as well as managing your company’s Twitter account and checking email on Sundays. It means always being on for your family, friends and colleagues, while also being monomaniacal about where you focus your time and energy so that you’re inspired every day and avoid burnout. Here are three ways to blend your work and life.
Exercise with friends
Socializing with your buddies is important because, more than anything else, having a vibrant social life enhances mental health and well-being. In addition to all the physical health benefits, exercising daily increases happiness because of the endorphins released while riding your bike to work or shooting hoops. Friendships also enrich your life and positively affect your health. Blending work and life means being able to manage a pretty busy schedule, so think about combining social time with active time and involve friends in physical fun. My friend Kurt is a master at this, as he has cultivated great friendships and helped build healthier communities by aligning his relationship-building and volunteerism with playing soccer.
Leave work at four o’clock (or whatever)
When you’re always on it’s easy to feel the need to stay at work until, well, late. And when you’re always on it’s easy to respond to emails all the time. Spain recently changed its official-unofficial siesta policy because businesses and governments recognized the importance of having a reasonable end to the workday. One of the reasons that the nine-to-five workday sucks is because the human brain isn’t the best tool for producing things within a fairly arbitrary time box in cubicles (especially when so few of us have looms these days). Whether you leave work at 4pm like me or a little later, making a clean break with work in order to spend time with family or friends is super important. I love picking up my son at daycare, playing with him until dinner and then putting him to bed without feeling rushed or distracted. And then I wrap up my day with any reading or writing that I didn’t finish before leaving work.
My Frientor (friend and mentor) Alexandra Samuel is the best person on Earth from whom to learn about working smarter by connecting networks and devices.When we’re blending our work and life it helps if everything talks to each other. If automating your life seems like too much of a stretch, perhaps start by trying out a few apps that will help you blend your many roles into a positive work/life experience. Here’s another list of apps that will help you blend work and life in order to reach your personal and professional potential.