Your work environment is not making it easy for you to achieve work-life integration. And on occasion it will seriously hinder it. Even though you may have clear objectives or priorities, you will run often into obstacles stemming from your work environment.
Your organization has some policies to support the balance between work, family and personal life. However, their full implementation is not achieved due to a corporate culture that is not family-friendly. Some managers are aware of the conflicts that can arise between work and family, but the organization is not yet committed to minimizing conflict.
– Speak with your supervisor to make him or her aware of your personal needs, and of how your performance will improve with greater flexibility. Rely on real-life examples in which flexibility has benefited both your work performance and your family life.
– Be especially careful and systematic about organizing your time at work. Aim to tackle first those tasks that are truly important rather than those that seem to grab your attention. Compare your time management skills with someone you respect to find out if you prioritize your work properly.
– Establish boundaries so that the family environment does not invade the work environment, and especially, so that your work does not interfere with your personal and family life.
– Focus your attention on what needs to be done, and avoid reacting to distractions. To gauge your level of focus, track for a few days the activities that you plan to do and those that you actually complete. Examining the reasons for the potential mismatch will give you insights on how to plan more realistically.
– Look for a coach to help you integrate all the areas of your life. He or she can help you prioritize your life goals, set objectives and keep you accountable. Search for professional help or from among those who are already closest to you, such as family and friends.
– Discuss with relatives and close friends how to improve your work-life balance. They may be able to offer material help and will almost always provide emotional support..
If you bring home your professional work regularly, you may want to establish protecting boundaries between work and family life. They will allow you to focus on the task at hand (being at home or at work). Here is how:
– Define and communicate your preferences regarding the interface between your work and family roles. Discuss them with all relevant stakeholders, such as your spouse/partner, children, manager or colleagues.
– Speak directly with people who consistently trespass these boundaries to make things better in the future.
– Be savvy in how you use your voice-mail and e-mail. Share your home and/or cell numbers only with those people who absolutely need to contact you outside your work schedule.