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Why Work Life Balance Doesn’t Work

An increasing number of people have given up on the balancing act. They have found that it’s impossible to draw a line in the sand and divide their lives into two parts.

We only have one life to live, so why complicate it by trying to reach our goals in two separate worlds as if one doesn’t have anything to do with the other one?


You might find that it pays to NOT try to balance your life!

Thus the emerging trend of work life integration. This concept is still in its early stages, but more and more people are finding that it works better for them than trying to keep things in balance.

Work life integration is all about flowing seamlessly from one area to the other. Your spouse may say something that helps you at work. Your co-workers may give you insight for things at home.

Pay attention to all the important people and priorities in your life all the time, rather than thinking that you need to segment them.

A paradigm shift

That’s the essence of work life integration. It requires a paradigm shift … thinking about your life a different way. Instead of putting pressure on yourself to be great in two separate areas of your life, focus on doing your best in your single life. Remove the limitations that you’ve placed on yourself.

Limitation #1 – Place
Work only occurs at the office; personal only occurs at home. We shouldn’t mix the two. It’s how we’ve been trained to think. The problem is … it doesn’t work!

Limitation #2 – Time
Many people think they of work as the activities they do during certain times of the day (e.g. 9 to 5). Then they live their personal lives. It may make sense for you to adjust your schedule, depending upon the flexibility your employer allows.

A recent study by Hudson, a leading international recruiting firm, showed that nearly one-third of the people surveyed ranked flexibility as their #1 priority in considering a new job offer.

Limitation #3 – Daily reconciliation

We think that we need to achieve balance every day. In reality, sometimes work demands more of us; at other times, our personal life needs the most attention. Give yourself permission to focus on what’s most important. Don’t worry about whether everything is balanced every day.

If you think about it, work – life balance is sort of an unnatural expectation. Work – life integration is more congruent with how most of us actually live. It’s just more natural.
How we use work – life integration

Here at Bigg Success, we understand this concept very well because we live it. We work together, often at home. We play together. We often get to travel together, combining some pleasure with the primary purpose of the trip. We also find that a lot of personal conversations lead to ideas like the one you’re reading now.

Of course, not all spouses can (or should) work together. Do what works for you. The good news is that, according to the Chartered Management Institute, there will be a blurring of boundaries between work and family because more and more of us will be working virtually.

Our bigg quote today comes from Karl Weick.

“Simply pushing harder within the old boundaries will not do.”

So pull yourself together … integrate your lives.

Next time, we’ll discuss four things to pay attention to that pay off. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Success In One Week

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by your to-do list?

Do you ever get down on yourself for not accomplishing what you set out to do?

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was an easier way to manage it all?

Here’s the good news – there is!

We call it bigg success in a week!

Take your long-term goals and break them down into manageable tasks.

Step 1 – Decide what you want to accomplish this week.
Take your long-term goal and set realistic goals for this week. And here’s a tip – whatever you come up with, cut it in half!

Let’s say you want to be healthier, maybe even lose some weight. That’s your long-term goal. To do that, you decide to exercise. You think you should exercise every day. Isn’t that what many experts recommend?

But life happens. Your goal isn’t met. You give up.

So cut it in half so you know you can reach it – plan to work out four times this week.

Step 2 – Break it into even smaller chunks.
You can break it into daily goals. We find that it’s even better to break it into chunks. Going back to the previous example, you plan to work out four times this week, so you need four chunks.

Your first chunk might be Monday and Tuesday. You will plan to work out one time between those two days. If you’re swamped on Monday, you still have Tuesday to get your work out in.

Step 3 – Build flexibility into your schedule.
You may front load your week so that you know you’ll have extra time at the end of the week to catch up.

Be sure to allow for some reactive time, as well. This is one thing with which people often struggle. You want to be as proactive as possible. But obviously, some jobs require more reaction than others – especially those where you work closely with customers.

So, if your job requires you to react to others about fifty percent of the time, don’t plan to get an eight-hour project done in one day. Schedule it over two days.

Step 4 – Start fresh each day.
Don’t beat yourself up for yesterday. You can still be a bigg success this week if you’ve followed the previous steps. Just go get it done today!

Step 5 – Reward yourself.
When you reach your goals by the end of the week, give yourself a little treat. You’ve earned it!

On the show, George discussed how he is using these principles with something simple – his e-mail. We get inundated with e-mails seven days a week here at Bigg Success. George said he is finally getting a handle on it. He said his goal is to have an empty Inbox at the end of each day.

To do that, he makes sure he empties out all his daily incoming e-mails. In addition, he has old e-mails that he needs to sort through. Every day, he empties out one additional day. He has built some flexibility into his schedule – he plans to do that three days a week, instead of five.

Every week, he’s three days closer to his goal. It’s just a matter of time before he reaches it!

What will your bigg success be this week? Share it with a comment below!

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The Bigg Success Weekly!

Our Bigg Quote today is by Fitzhugh Dodson.

“First you write down your goal; your second job is to break down your
goal into a series of steps, beginning with steps which are absurdly easy.”

Follow this advice and you’ll turn your mountains into mole hills.

Next time, we ask what you get when you spell “desserts” backwards?

Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Benjamin Franklin’s Thirteen Virtues 

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