Yesterday was the first of November. The first day of a new month. For many of us, the first of November means the first day of holiday preparations as we look forward to relaxing with a cup of apple cider (or pumpkin space latte, whatever tickles your fancy) and spending time with our loved ones. With the ideas of feasting on large birds, delicious side dishes (my favorite!) and beautiful holiday trimmings dancing in our heads, it’s so easy to become distracted by the holiday festivities. Because of that, we need to set goals for ourselves, for this month and every month, in order to keep ourselves on track, focused, and to make sure that we finish the year off as strong as we started it.
You may be thinking to yourself, “but… the holidays are a time for giving back, spending time with our families and friends, relaxing and not working so much!” As much as I agree with you that we absolutely need to make time for our loved ones and ourselves, it is extremely important and essential to our personal and professional development that we budget our time wisely. By scheduling our obligations accordingly, we make sure that we do remain on track while still making time to do what we want to do!
Before now, work-life balance is highlighted to encourage workers to juggle both a career and a family. Image work-life balance as a see-saw, your career obligations on one side with your personal desires on the other. Our goal with this see-saw is to keep a balance between the two and work to manage both ends of the scale. Sometimes, one side would be tipped and require more focus, such as more time needed to finish an important project at work or taking time off to go on a vacation with your significant partner. Because you are favoring one side more over the other, you must then work to give more attention or time to the other side, e.g. plan an elaborate dinner to make it up to your partner for having to cancel plans or pull an all-nighter Sunday night so you’re ready for work in the morning after taking the weekend off. With work-life balance, at any given point, you would have to make certain choices and important sacrifices in order to level the scale.
Now, let’s switch our focus and rebrand work-life balance to work-life integration. As we head towards more demanding careers and aim to live more satisfying lifestyles, we need to figure out how to manage both without making so many unnecessary sacrifices and feels as though we are only focusing on one and missing out on the other. But by changing our mindset to integrating our needs and our desires, we can then learn how to better our time management skills to satisfy both sides and live more fulfilling lives!
By setting our own goals and clear deadlines of when we should accomplish our goals by, we learn how to become self-sufficient in making our dreams a reality. In addition, mapping out these important milestones allows us the capabilities of seeing how our daily actions contributes to establishing ourselves and how it will bring us one step closer to achieving the bigger picture, our bigger picture. I cannot tell you what your goals should be, but I do urge that you remain mindful in what you choose to pour your heart into and stay humble all the way through!
Start by setting a few goals for yourself and work to achieve them. You may not be able to accomplish all of them at the time that you wanted but don’t give up! Take it as a lesson and keep going! Remember, work-life integration is a skill we all need to practice!
Inspired by Casey Neistat’s Do More video and conversations with Arnaud Collery