June 10, 2013

5 Ways to Blend Your Work and Life Better


Your career is a major part of your identity - much like being a mother, friend, wife or sister in Alpha Phi.  Meaningful work gives a sense of purpose and impact on the world. But it is too easy to fall into working all hours and pushing aside your true priorities. Our mothers coined the term work-life balance, but today we have a different solution...work-life blend.

Work-life blend means integrating our career and home lives. If you’ve ever checked your work email from your living room couch or shopped online when you should be productive at work, you know technology has made our lives more integrated than ever before. And that’s okay. 

Here are five ways you can use work-life blend to your advantage:

  • Be yourself at work. Professionalism means being respectful, courteous and observing social norms. It doesn’t mean being a robot that looks and sounds like everyone else. Sharing your personal passions and unique life experiences improves the culture at work.  
  • Own your personal brand. The average worker has 7 jobs in her lifetime. You are more than the name on the company door. Define your personal values and skills and showcase them to the world. This will help others refer opportunities your way that align with who you are, not just with your current employer. 
  • Work to task, not to time. Allotting 75 minutes to see your mom so you can pick up dry cleaning by close keeps you looking at the clock. Decide what gets your attention today and start at the top. When the most important thing is done, move on to the next. This will help you learn to delegate the things that are less important and free up more time.       
  • Set boundaries and communicate them. Life is too short to waste time doing things because you feel like you should. That depletes your energy for things you want and need to do. Have a go-to response for saying no without explaining your choice. “I appreciate the invitation but I won’t make it this time”.  
  • Flexibility wins all. Look for opportunities that give you the most flexibility, another word for choice. This has an exponential effect. The more choice you have, the more adaptable you can be in the future. Invest in tools that allow you to work remotely and you can finish your presentation at the beach instead of the cubicle. 
Above all, don’t sweat the small stuff. If you start to feel run-down and that life is pulling you in too many directions, slow down. Work-life blend doesn’t mean doing it all, it means having the choice to do what you want.  

Jenn Ash is the Editor of Avenue Gray, a blog for career tips, living easier and combining the two seamlessly.  A true creative, she worked for agencies and in the Fortune 500 before launching her own creative company at 28. To get access to all of her creative resources, join the Gray Collective community. 

Seniors, you may have also seen Jenn's career advice in the Alumnae Advice column of Transitions!


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