Work/Life Integration – the new balance

I often speak to groups about having a Work/Life Balance because it is something I value and want to encourage others to consider how this can improve their quality of life. Renaissance Executive Forums, a CEO Peer Advisory Group in Dallas, focused on Work/Life Balance last year and it made a big difference in how our members invested their time to focus on what they really want in life.

Balancing our Work and Personal life is more like a teeter-totter than a pie chart. It’s not a simple decision on how much time out of the 168 hours will go to work vs. personal life each week. This changes every day and is often NOT balanced.

I suggest it’s more like a teeter-totter because sometimes we are all about work, and sometimes we are all about our personal life. However, the ability to give 100% to whatever you are focused on is the skill we need to nurture.

For example, if I’m at a meeting and my son calls me because he fell and broke his leg, I don’t say “I’m really busy right now so I’ll catch up with you when I get home tonight.” I stop and give him the time to show him I care for him and comfort him. I may not be able to leave work right then but I can pop into my personal life, give him 100% of my heart and mind, then pop back into work mode and give my 100% there. Then I can leave early to go see how he’s doing. This integration of my work and personal life seems to work very well.

Work/Life Integration

Lately, I’ve been practicing the idea of having a Work/Life “Integration” instead of Balance so I can pop back and forth between the two seamlessly. This has required me to focus on being the same person at work as I am at home. I mean, we’re doing the same stuff it’s just at different places. Right?

WORK – You invest your time, allocate resources, make sure you and your team get where you want to go to get the results you expect. We lead by example so our team is passionate and clear about where we are going and can live out our Culture/Brand (results will vary) and build a legacy.  The same is done at home.

HOME – We invest in our marriage and our kids, we create budgets to make sure we maintain financial stability and a lifestyle we want. We “train up our child” to be the grown-up we want them to be (results will vary) and to follow the standards of our family, and someday pass that on to their kids.

In order to have a Work/Life Integration, you need to BE the same leader you want to be at both places, then just move your efforts from home to work as needed.

The fact is that for most of us, work never stops, and neither do the needs of our families. Being able to pop back and forth between them is key to staying balanced and being 100% involved and focused in each area when we are there.

Are you the same at Work as you are at Home?

The challenge people face is when they act one way at work, and then a different way at home. When you get those mixed up or you bring one attitude to the other place, bad things happen. At work, I don’t boss my employees around or yell at our customers or allow things to get out of control. Same thing at home. Different environments, people and goals, but I’m the same me. Remember, you are supposed to “Do your job, and Love your family.” If this gets turned around you will lose those you love the most.

As the owner or leader of your company, you of all people should be able to take advantage of this mindset. It’s YOUR company! Make time to enjoy the things that matter the most to you so you are energized and ready to lead your team with excellence. Give 100% when its time for Work and then 100% when you’re not working. Just make sure you are intentional about the amount of time you invest in each based on your purpose in life.

Learn to do this and you will enjoy yourself more, get better results in both areas, and find more peace in your heart knowing you gave it your all. Contact me if you need help making this happen.

Robert Hunt

* Here is a photo of why I want a solid work/life integration.

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