Implementing work-life integration

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Begin heightening your sense of harmony and, more accurately, chart a unified trajectory that aligns who you are, all the things you want to do, with how you want to lead your life and career

Work-life integration has proved elusive for professionals all over the world in all different professions. In fact, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, a whole new meaning to work-life integration emerged, creating a lot of change in the way professionals think and behave not only as individuals but as a team.

One thing we must recognize as high performers (with a tendency toward perfectionism) is that what you are attempting to achieve is a moving target. So, while you generate what your ideal days and weeks look like, you must give yourself grace as this will ebb and flow because it is not a one-and-done achievement. It’s a practice, both in the practical sense and the internal environment.

Work-life integrations come through as moment-to-moment approaches, that string together each of those days or seasons in your life. What happens during these different times is a change in your values or priorities which alters the techniques that work for you personally, at that specific time. It changes the inner work that unfolds along the path, revealing new insights you may need to work through. This is also a multimodal approach blending the tools and tactics that effectively weave your work and personal life together in a way that supports your well-being rather than tearing you down. Getting things done, what I refer to as GTD, is a productivity system I regularly use to organize the ‘10,000 things.’ It’s one of the best ways to manage the best use of your time, create order amongst the chaos of projects, and more.

Do you know where your attention is frequently being focused on? Do you have an idea of where your personal resources are going? Use a tool, like GetMotiVETed’s life-wheel, to gain perspective on where you are now and what areas of your life, you’d like to experience a change in.

As I mentioned, you can start this at any time because it’s practice. So, when you stray, come back to the practice and tools, without judgment or shame. It will take time, awareness, and dedication to settle into a routine that flows with this moving target. Believe me, as someone who is enthusiastic about this, I’ve made significant progress, yet I still must apply what I’ve learned, shift perspectives, and adjust my approach to what’s happening right now in my life or my mind.

‘Life-work’ is what I call the regular planning and exploration of your inner environment. This is the core of growth and development which leads to clearing out blind spots that are holding you back and keeping you feeling stuck or out of balance. This work is best accomplished through guided prompts that can walk you through a thought-provoking process, unrusting some of the gears and mechanisms that naturally give you clarity on what you want, why you want it, and how to make it your reality. Most people can’t even answer the question of what it is that they want, or they are in the habit of complaining and their brains work against them. Letting go is part of the process and a whole topic.

Once you identify where you are, and where you want to go, create a roadmap of how you’ll get there, not just in a ‘how does it look way’, but how do you feel sort of way. We’ve all had at least 1 experience where on paper- everything looked good but felt awful.

Keep in mind as you move forward in this world and sink further into this new state of being yourself, is that it’s critical you support others with their work-life integration. Just because someone else’s work-life integration might not look like your ideal scenario, does not mean it does not deserve your respect. I get that it can be a challenge or rather an opportunity for teams to step into this way of thinking and operating, but it’s required if you want to protect your essential energy that is finite.

We as a nation have found innovative ways to keep business doors open - the bottom line will work itself out when we take care of the people, and it starts by taking care of ourselves. Have a quality-of-life discussion with yourself and decide, commit, and declare that you will prioritize your well-being without guilt or judgment. We have all felt the pains of “the great resignation.” Acknowledge that energy for everyone is finite and will run out if not preserved, honored, or replenished. Be the model of change. Your patients and colleagues will thank you, your loved ones will want to be around you, and, more importantly, you’ll be able to withstand being with yourself.

This is the work and keep in mind the first idea you must revamp things may or may not be a winner, if it is, it may only work for some period of time before you need to adjust again. Letting go of bad ideas as an individual or a team is equally as helpful in propelling you forward with your work-life integration practice. Being nimble and open to adapting is paramount in creating personal and professional success. Turn these keys to stop feeling trapped in an unbalanced loop. You have not even touched your true possibility and I believe that you can do this.

Renee Machel is a cofounder of Get MotiVETed LLC, a provider of well-being solutions for the veterinary community. Visit getmotiveteduniversity.com to learn more about designing your life and to download templates such as the life wheel.

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