Work Life Balance or Work Life Integration: What’s Best for Me?

Work Life Balance or Integration: Customize Your Time!

Learn about the difference between work life integration and work life balance and then learn tips to incorporate them into your life for better time management.

Take actions from today’s podcast:

  • Understand the difference between WL integration and work life balance
  • Decide which one suits your lifestyle the best
  • Consult with family, friends, or work if necessary.
  • Create a roadmap to make balance or integration happen.
  • Test drive
  • Make time for yourself and self care!
  • Make adjustments as necessary
  • Create your own path if needed

Certified life coach, author & award-winning professional life organizer Julie Coraccio shares steps and tips to support you in creating the life you choose, deserve and desire through decluttering your life, end of life planning, mindfulness and how to organize your life.



Julie Coraccio 0:02
Today on clear your clutter inside and out. We’re talking about work life balance, and work life integration.

Do you wonder if work life balance is better for you than work life integration?

Have you wondered what the difference between the two is? Are you unsure how to begin either one and looking where to start? Learn how to figure out if work life balance or work life integration is best for you as we begin our month focusing on time management. Do you control your clutter? Or does your clutter control you? unclear your clutter inside now I will teach you awareness as well as action steps to create change in your life. Come on. Let’s get started. May everyone may is my favorite month probably because it’s my birthday month but in general Mays just you kind of in spring, you’re feeling pretty good, at least here in the Northern Hemisphere. And it just is a month. That makes me happy. Usually the flowers are in good shape and pretty much full swing. So just makes me super happy. couple of announcements for you all since you listen to podcasts. I’m assuming you probably listen to more than just mine. There is a new online magazine called podcast magazine if you’re interested. I was interviewed for it and my interview is scheduled to come out in the March edition end of March. I knows I’m taping this little early, but I just thought that that would be a resource for you if interested. I was interviewed for the magazine and met this wonderful woman and really hit it off and it sounds like the first one is going premiere done in January, and it sounds like it’s going to be pretty cool. And they’re going to do in depth interviews on anything. So if you have an interest, I just podcast you go, it’ll come up. So I just share that. After a conversation with her, she suggested asking my audience a question. So I’m going to ask y’all a question. If you have any suggestions for book fairs where I could go or places to speak, I’m looking to speak more publicly. I’ve spoken regionally and definitely looking to expand that. So if you have any thoughts, please shoot me an email Julie at reawaken your brilliance calm. I thought, what a great suggestion I now have I don’t like to brag, but I have the best audience ever. But Google doesn’t always find everything, especially for smaller places that perhaps are looking for speakers that I wouldn’t know about because I can’t find on Google. So I dropped that thought in your head if there’s anything you’d like to share with me. It is most appreciated. This month, we’re focusing on time management. Now I know you know, if you don’t have good time management skills, that’s definitely going to create clutter in your life. For example, if you always running behind, you’re not keeping your time Well, you’re stressed out, right, and that’s causing mental clutter. You can create emotional and relationship clutter, if it’s causing fights, because of your tardiness. We had a family member that we once lied about the time something started so that they would get there on time, but it would cause a lot of stress. It can create spiritual clutter if you’re not getting to work on what’s important, right? If you want to have the time to paint if you want to have the time to exercise and you have more time management skills, and that stuff needs to get done and it’s not physical clutter, right? If you don’t have the time to pick up and keep saying The clutter men organized. And there’s never any time for your health can suffer if you’re not finding time to exercise. And of course, financial clutter if you’re paying late fees, because you haven’t set up time management skills or if you have to run to the drugstore or it costs a lot more instead of buying your weekly groceries is just a short example. So as we start the month, kind of ruminate, contemplate about your time management skills and how it’s creating clutter for you. Today’s episode was inspired for a while his work life balance now it seems to be trending towards work life integration.

And I always say do what’s best for you. And I think a lot of it quite frankly, is semantics. And I had an aha moment when I was drafting this out, and I’ll share that later on because I think it really boiled down to this one point. But what’s it Important on what you want to think about is what fits with your lifestyle. And maybe you need to facilitate between integration and balance. Or maybe you create a hodgepodge of something that combines the two remember everything clearing, clutter organizing, exercise, eating, no one size fits all you have to make an individualized plan. And since that can be buzzwords, I wanted you to really know the difference. And so let’s first define it. work life balance, according to Wikipedia includes proper prioritizing between work, career and ambition and lifestyle, health, pleasure, leisure, family and spiritual development meditation that came from Wikipedia. work life integration is professionals blending what they do personally professionally to make both For. And they shared that search, the traditional image of a scale, which is associated with work life balance creates a sense of competition between the two elements. work life integration instead is an approach that creates more synergies between all areas that define life, or home family, community, personal well being and health. So let’s get a little more in depth here, the details. And what it boiled down to me. I’ll just share this at the beginning before I define them. I did work life balance when I did a nine to five job. When I started my own business, I was doing work life integration. I don’t know if I could have articulated that 11 years ago, but that’s really what I was doing. I don’t like to get caught up in names and semantics. I think that that’s a mistake you can make. You know, when I was writing my book, I said some of you might say, Oh, that’s not spiritual clutter that should fit in emotional clutter. And I said, Don’t get caught up in that. So I’m going to share that same advice here, don’t get caught up on what it called. Just think about making your life for and making sure that you’re having good care in all areas of your life to the best of your ability. So balance. One thing I want to make clear is this doesn’t mean an equal balance. Because life is going to vary. I am again, focusing on health I’ve got a an interesting, healthier coming up. So one of my areas is exercise. And so I said, Okay, I want to exercise three to five times a week. That’s my goal. I can’t exercise every day. The reality of having that having that happens very minimal. So this is what it’s not equal balance. Someone who said should exercise every day, but I’ve got to do what I can and so that is a good balance for me. And again, there’s no one size fits all balance. It’s like, Okay, I have all these different elements of my life. How am I going to try to manage to fit them together? In this, you strive for achievement, because you’re doing your job. But you also have your life, right? professional, personal, you want to be happy. You want to have time to celebrate happy to joy, all that good stuff. Here’s my point of view with it. What I think it boils down to is, if you work for the man, if you work for someone else, you’re going to have to do work life balance, I think it’d be very challenging to do work life integration. So for say, for example, you’re an ER doctor and you work a 12 hour shift. The likelihood of you being able to go out and run errands is probably pretty slim. You probably your 12 hours of work have to be focused here as a secretary Assistant on a nine to five jobs, same thing. For those nine to five, you probably are pretty much tied to your job, you’re probably not going to have a lot of flexibility. Again, you might be able to run a couple errands on your lunch hour, but you think about commute all those other things, especially if you have a half an hour lunch break, you are not going to be able to get much done. So I was thinking back before I started working for myself.

And so by the time I quit my last job, I was lucky my commute was five minutes. And so they had moved right near where I live. So that was really great. So a work life balance day would look to me Okay, I think I by the end was working seven to three. So I’d get up go to work had a very minimal commute. I would sometimes it really depended on the day by the end I just wanted out of there. So I would usually work through lunch so I could just escape. But prior to that, okay, so I took a lunch break maybe I would try to run an errand or two or maybe I would try to walk on my lunch hour and get some stuff going and and try to integrate that but again it was really hard like I don’t want to I can’t walk in nice clothes I don’t I need to have exercise clothes. I’m just very weird about that. So there wasn’t a lot of flexibility kind of within the day to day job. So then it goes back to the example of exercising. Okay, well, then I’m going to try outside of work to get in three to five days of exercising then I have to make sure well, what am I going to do for connection What am I going to do for community and then doing all my errands like grocery shopping, dry cleaning, all that fun stuff. And so kind of the Monday through Friday was was blocked out. It was mainly work anything else I was going to do outside of that had to fit an outside hour. So then you want to think, you know, again, community health, your mental needs, your emotional needs, you know, again, I think it’s very holistic you have to think of all those different ways. So again, with balance, there really isn’t a lot of flexibility I think again, that’s what it boils down to me you’ve got these blocks of hours where you’re working and you got to fit everything else in. So then you think okay, like looking at your week, make sure you’re getting all the air at different areas covered. Now work life integration, fits your needs. Again, I think with this the differences you work for yourself, or I don’t know maybe your trust fund child or something, and you have a lot more control over managing your personal professional life. Right when I was at work, I kind of didn’t have much control. So again, it’s going to cover the same things as worth, work life balance, work, home community, help, your mental needs, emotional, spiritual, all that good stuff. So get To me it really is about independence and having the flexibility that you can’t when you have to be at work for set amount of hours. So I’ll give an example of a day now this would be a typical day for me, not a typical because my day really isn’t typical. So let’s take well yesterday I had a client let’s do a non client day today I’m having a non client day so let’s do because if I look at my week I schedule clients you know, I’m always something I make sure I have a break in between I don’t do an organizing client more than once a day so let’s say if I’m looking my week so today I don’t have any days now usually when I wake up before Tony, this was an odd day and I sucked in because I was didn’t sleep well the night before. had a client had meetings yesterday was kind of crazy. So typically, I’d wake up again, not typically, usually before Tony feed the cats. I have you know I’ve got to get that done. Make sure the litter box axes are done, usually would come in and answer email. By that time Tony’s probably had his coffee. So we usually play a game of cards, we play cards almost daily. So he’s been beating me lately, it’s been really annoying. So play a couple games of cards, then I’d come back. I’m always going to be writing on an admin day or a day one of clients because I have blogs to do I have. I’m writing more books, I have social media posts to write. I have volunteer grant writing. So I’m always writing is a huge part of my day. So then say, I might come back and write for a couple hours. And then I might take a break. I might exercise we have a rowing machine. So I might go and row I’m doing that again. Oh, my out of shape, but I’m working on I’m getting better. So don’t take a break in row. And then after that I’ve launched and maybe I’d come back and write more, answer some more emails. Take a break, get Tony’s dinner ready for him. If he’s gone out in the gym, it’s really hungry. I will make him live. So that’s taking a break, then I might, again do more work, it’s been rarely Rio de writing the podcast I’m recording. So this takes time you have to record then I have to edit which is the most time consuming, editing that the show is the most time consuming for me.

So then I might have to edit and then I take a break. But if I edit I have a kind of a system I use I pre edit if you do any editing any way it shows you on the movie thing and you know what to chop out so I don’t even listen to the what I record, I get all the free editing done and then I turn on the sound and listen to it and that it from there. So I might Edit and then take a break, go Snuggie with the cats. If I’m really tired, you don’t feel and I might need a nap today. Then we’ll take a nap. So then it’s probably ends up being at tenant mostly a 10 and 12 hour day I’ll answer emails meals at night I have no problem doing that. And even though I’m quote unquote, working for 10 to 12 hours, it doesn’t feel like it because I’m taking breaks, I’m getting my work done. And and I’ve also had a big switch which I’m going to share with you at the end of the month. And I think maybe this is part of turning 50 that has, how I’m doing time a little bit differently. But it’s overall fits into the scheme of the quality of life for me. And so and that, you know, card, exercise, maybe some reading some meditation just hanging out in nature, I’m able just we have these wetlands and we have a little deck and so I can just sit and look out and watch the birds and see the salamanders and all that cool stuff. So again, I’m doing that throughout the day so it doesn’t feel like if I were at a nine to five job and have to work overtime completely failed. That so it’s a quote unquote longer day but it doesn’t feel like if that makes sense so that’s just a little example of how a day might look for me again or so let’s take yesterday so I had to get up early well early for me we’re not early risers because Tony then he works for three to one doesn’t get home till quarter till two and I think even if I’m asleep most times I think I’m still listening to make sure it comes in so I’m not fully asleep so when I was okay got the client done worked an organizing client for four hours and then like oh, I’m going by the grocery store on my way home like okay let’s pick up a couple groceries got home checked in with Tony had some connection time with him because I was out the door before was snuggled with the cats came in All right, let me check the email. Did some email really wanted a nap it couldn’t because I had another client And I was like, oh, if I go to take a nap, right, I’ll miss it. So it’ll work Hello, call the client did we hung out a made dinner, watch some TV came back checked an email because I had missed some stuff earlier in the morning. So again, just having that flexibility to kind of carve out the life that I want. Does the thought of clearing your clutter overwhelm you? Clear your clutter inside now has 21 standalone chapters to fit your schedule and lifestyle. Being afraid, gain clarity and go at your own pace. The clear your clutter inside and out workbook. lets you record your thoughts step by step as you go through the book. Free mp3 meditation with purchase. get control of your clutter, so your clutter doesn’t control you. reclaim time Money sanity and resources. Learn more at reawaken your brilliance calm and also available for purchase on Amazon. How to achieve? Here are some things to think about for work life balance. Figure out your priorities, right? This entire podcast is about that it’s clearing your clutter, to focus on what is most important. If you have your priorities, then you know how to fit them in and say okay, what the commute eight to six is blocked out Monday through Friday. So where am I going to fit in exercise? grocery shopping because I need to eat meditation daily. Where am I going to fit those in? And when you know your priorities that makes it a lot easier to track your time. If you are not sure how to figure this out. Definitely track your time.

In another episode, I’m going to be talking about distractions and time wasters. Because I think a lot of us don’t know where our time goes. So if you are struggling track your time, get a little Saturday through Sunday, or however they have it set up and block out work. And then plot and again, most of us are visual that you block out the time and then you can see like, Okay, well, I can get looking at my work schedule, you know what, I can get 15 minutes of meditation and three days a week, if I willing to commit that. And then from there, you kind of track and you can plug in to create a schedule. And again, it’s not going to be perfect, you’re not always going to be able to follow it to a tee. But if you have kind of a roadmap, then you can use that to kind of guide you and so you see like, okay, I can if I really think about it, I’m really clear about it. So instead of coming home and plopping down and getting on Facebook, I’m going to meditate Respect your body clock. I used to be a morning person, I’m now not so much because of Tony’s work schedule, because that’s kind of shifted. So I try not to schedule clients before 10am. Like yesterday, I had to scheduled earlier. This is a lovely client that I have. And she has a really she’s a busiest person I know. And so whatever we can get in with her, I’m happy to do that. I try in general not to have anything too early. I don’t I need to be up for a couple hours. I like to end organizing clients by six I don’t want to work past that. Just I start to feel fatigued in the evening. I don’t want to work with a client at seven or eight at night. Again, very rarely I’ll make the exception. But I have to understand my clock I want to be the best. I can write in the morning and write in afternoon I can write evening that’s one thing I’m really flexible with it’s just against because I love it and it comes easy to me. So I don’t Don’t have to respect my body clock as much on that, but for the physical stuff I do. Don’t try to multitask, which is good advice in general. You know, you can google they’ve done all these studies, we really can’t multitask Well, no matter what we think. So, kind of say, okay, by multitasking, and get back to that map that you’ve created to kind of do your schedule that way because you don’t want to do it. Like when I work with someone and I have a contract and I say, let go of all distractions, you know, have the kids at someone else’s house, don’t take phone calls. If you do that. If I’m working with you, and you’re taking a phone call, you’re distracted, I might have to wait for you to answer a question before you know the next step. So don’t try to do a bunch of different things. Keep your private time private. This is especially true for you especially if you’re working so the man say no. So you know what, okay, you have me from nine to five not answering now somebody maybe you say I’m a manager, okay, but then put a deadline, you know, no calls after eight. No. And that’s you need downtime you need time yourself. That’s super important. So honor that. You say, Okay, these hours I’m working, I’m gonna stop like I had for a while when I was my last job. I was director of development. And so they gave me a Blackberry. I mean, are those even exists anymore? But I was like, You know what, I’m open to answering email to seven after that. I’m not doing it. set boundaries. Like I just said, Okay, I’m available to talk to this time, otherwise, I’m done. Because especially you can take and I think of teachers as a good example, you know, it sounds like they’re like, when am I gonna plan my day, I’ve got classes, maybe one free period, get in the habit of setting boundaries, and you can train people and he’s okay then you need to pass more because I have to work extra hours or whatever is but set boundaries. utilize technology wherever you can, you know if you need I guess Amazon has a delivery service now they’re things like that you’re like, Okay, I’m just really busy this week I’m gonna hire Amazon to deliver everything to me. Whatever you can do help save you’re trying to find someone local. I’m waiting for the day that Amazon explode. I truly Guys, if I didn’t have to be on Amazon for my books, I wouldn’t but anyone who talked to me like you just have to be on them. But then that causes tensions within the pennant booksellers. Anyway, it’s been an interesting experience. utilize technology where you can if you need to be really focused. Use an app to keep you on track. If you’re on a tight deadline, for example, for something.

self care, make sure somewhere in your schedule, whether for you that’s taking a walk, whether it’s getting a massage, whether it’s time snuggling with your cats, make sure that self care because it’s about balance right? Not every day. You’re gonna be able to get a massage or not every day you’re going to be able to exercise, but you’re getting it in and you’re doing a pretty decent job most of the time. And then evaluate regularly. You know, life is not static life changes, you just have to check in with yourself. You know what, this really isn’t working for me? what needs to change? Maybe I thought that painting was what I really want to do. And I’ve been devoting all this time to painting but you know what? It just feels it’s now feels like it’s another thing to do. I’ve lost the joy and the passion for doing it. So I think what I need to do is step back from painting, and I need to focus on caring for myself better, maybe we need to get naps and maybe we need to just do nothing. I maybe need to just rest and recharge. So just make sure that you’re looking at evaluating regularly. work life integration. I’d say that everything I just mentioned, you can apply to work life integration. A difference would be having a lot more flexibility with scheduling, maybe in the morning run errands and you work through lunch, and you’ll answer your work email until 9pm. Like as I mentioned before, like I have a 12 hour day or whatever it is, but it really isn’t a 12 hour day. One thing I like to do is, I try to, if I can run all my errands during the weak and off hours like people might be at the grocery store before work really early. That’s not an issue or right after work. The grocery store is going to be busy so I go in the times when they aren’t. I try to not run errands at all on the weekends sometimes impossible. Tony now works for 10 so he has Friday’s off works for me because I’m like Kids run stuff on Friday. work smart and with intention. If you’re gonna have like I’ve mentioned these long days. Be smart about it be efficient, I have a to do list. I know what I need to accomplish. I’m now doing things where I’d take the entire month. These are the goals I have. I kind of laid out what I wanted to accomplish for the year. broke it down for the month like for instance we are going through we did a lot of downsizing we moved last year we’re doing that again. And so January was office so I chunk that down and you know, I have so proud of Tanya, it’s like you have to go through bookcase. We have to go through the really good. He really stepped up the plate and as we progress has done a really good job. But so what I did, for example, was declutter and downsize and put that on the first half of the year so that way, if I don’t get it accomplished, then I still have time. That’s just something that I I had to do so it’s very intentional what I’ve created. I work smart again now like I have these bursts, I tend to do these bursts like data right where we’re at it. And then I know I need to take a break. So that’s also I believe when you work smart and with intention, it takes you less time. So think about how you can bring that into your life. Be flexible, man, I think you know, being a small business owner, and entrepreneur or solopreneur. You just have to well, you don’t have to do anything. Everything obviously you have a choice nine to five or to have a boundary, no calls, whatever. I don’t mind taking a call at nine o’clock at night and again, you know, depending on the client, I have a client in California, they might get off work at six and have to do the call at nine that’s a okay. And I’m completely fine like that. And again, doing everything in first Being flexible, helps me focus on what you need to get done. Not on the time spent. That’s kind of smarter, not harder. I feel truly. And this might be and I’ve been very fortunate that I’ve had for most of my I’ve started work when I was 14 $1 an hour. My dad was when West Virginia you could work or 14 and my dad’s like, yep, 14 go work. We have a couple great parks there. So I started out 14 $1 an hour. We’re going to the park, which I would recommend. It was very good for me in a lot of ways. I think it’d be very good. I think there are many people I know who would benefit from doing

jobs that don’t pay so much to give them kind of perspective on life. I would always do my job. Efficiency wasn’t a huge concern, I guess is the best way to put it because I always get my work done. But you know if there wasn’t a day Like, I didn’t feel the need to push myself, I’m like, Okay, well, I know I’m going to be here for these hours. Let’s get done what I can. That’s why I don’t have a novel block by block schedule. I write out what needs to be done personally over here. You know, for instance, I’m working and have to go to small claims court. So that’s a step by step process. I’m like, Okay, you know what, I just I don’t know if I can do this online, and my dad’s gonna help me with this. So I have to pay him like get Tony to print everything out, I’m gonna fill out what I can as a first step, then I’m working on the timeline to the second step. And so doing that, and not being like, Oh my gosh, it’s, I spent whatever amount of time on that. I don’t think like that. Because I’m annoyed that I have to do this small claims thing and I don’t want to think about, I’m gonna bring it up in front of the magic strip, but I don’t wanna think about how much time I’ve had. So like, for another example, if I were to focus On the amount of time spent on the books, I’d probably cry. But I was like okay, this is what I want to do it brings me joy. I have to focus on doing the work to make it happen and not about the hours spent. So see where you can work smarter not harder. So as another example that working smarter not harder, so I hired someone to do the book cover and they look awesome. I mean, she is so talented. She got me right away. Now when I did another little course I created they had a little template that you could use so I created it doesn’t look so good. So that’s a better example than I’ve talked about about working smarter, not harder. You know, I think fingers crossed that I have found someone reliable and good for some website stuff. That has been a huge pain because I again, I don’t want to think about time. Something happened and blew up and then go daddy who’s Anyway, but I’m like, I have to call them I have to use them. I don’t have someone here that I trust and that I can get it done. So that’s about working smarter. Okay, taking the time to interview people find a good match, and that someone else can do that. That’s smarter, not harder. And even with integration, you’ve got to make sure you’re not working 24 seven, take time off, it’s integration. It’s not work only. And let me say that again, it’s integration. It’s not work only and reference that thing on my mom sprain my interview with my friend Wendy. If you want to know someone who talked about being a workaholic and her wake up call what happened to her. And again, at the end of month, I’m going to talk about a big adjustment that I made in time management for myself this year that you can do with integration or balance, and it has made a huge difference. And again, don’t get caught up in the semantics. Kind of marinate what I’ve talked about today think about what is going to work for you. And again, remember, it’s now even with integration, everything’s not going to be perfect. Even if I have a day off, not a day off a day without clients. And my plan is to exercise, maybe an interview opportunity comes through, you know, you. And that’s the other thing I would say is keep space for opportunities. I talked about when I was my last job, it was crazy towns, craziest place I’ve ever worked. And it was constant because like all these fires constantly had to be put out. And so I don’t like to say emergency. So keep your schedule open for opportunities. And that’s happened before because I’m flexible. I’ve gotten interviews. She’s like, Oh, I have a last minute cancellation. I’m like, Hey, I can do it. I can switch some stuff around. I’m your gal. Happy to do it. So that’s another thing to consider as you are mapping out your time Take action from today’s podcast. understand the difference between work life integration, and work life balance. decide which one suits your lifestyle the best. Consult with family, friends, or work, if necessary. Create a roadmap to make balance or integration happen. Test Drive, make time for yourself and self care. Evaluate course correct and make adjustments as necessary.

Create your own path if needed. On our next episode, we’re talking about top time wasters. Go Clear your clutter to create the life you choose deserve and desire. When you clear your clutter, you can share your gifts with the world. Sign up for our free newsletter at reawaken your brilliance calm. If you’ve enjoyed clear your clutter inside now, please rate review and share us

Transcribed by

About Clear Your Clutter Inside & Out

Clutter is stuck stagnant energy and prevents you from creating the life you choose, desire and deserve. We discuss clutter in all its forms: energetic, spiritual, emotional, mental & physical, relationships, health, finances and more. We share tips and take action steps for clutter free living and how to organize your life and death with end of life planning. We’re thinking outside the box on areas where people might not realize where clutter is blocking them. When we remove clutter from our lives we can discover our passions, lead the extraordinary lives we are all meant to live and share our gifts with the world.


The post Work Life Balance or Work Life Integration: What’s Best for Me? appeared first on Reawaken Your Brilliance.