Productivity in the workplace is a universal desire for both employees and employers. Being productive keeps us driven to achieve all that we need to in the workplace. How do you stay productive when your work-life has changed so much due to flexibility, hybrid workplaces and remote work environments? Below we share our top productivity tips for work-life integration.
Work-life integration vs. work-life balance
Work-life integration is a fulfilling and achievable goal, especially for working mothers. Integration lends itself to a more harmonious, inclusive and flexible lifestyle, which is essential when you have children, and is more attainable than the concept of work-life balance. The idea of finding a perfect balance between work, life, relationships and other responsibilities is not necessarily possible as a working parent. Which is why separating work, life and other facets of living also seems to be a thing of the past since the pandemic. The concept of work-life integration is a more positive spin on the idea that work and life somehow need to operate together in an harmonious way. Balance might seem like an optimal goal, but when you’re a parent, you know that attaining a state of balance in life is next to impossible.
As a recruitment agency, we are proud to support the working moms in our network as they achieve work-life integration through the flexible and remote work solutions we and our forward-thinking client partners offer.
Set up your workspaces for work-life integration
In 2020 Microsoft found that a large portion of the millennial and Gen X workforce in India were opting for virtual workplaces to embrace a more flexible work lifestyle using technology. We are seeing the same trends at RecruitMyMom. Your workspace might be completely virtual (remote work), or part-virtual and part in-person (hybrid), or it may be that you work in the physical office and have a measure of flexibility in your work time (in-office). Any of these options means that you have certain workspaces to consider when you are being productive for your job, family and life.
The trick is to find the best way to consolidate them so that you can be productive in each. Work-life integration isn’t about perfection, it’s about doing your best and being available in the present moments.
Simplify and plan your life as much as you can
Make a list of the various areas of your life that need your attention. Think about when you will get the cooking or cleaning done, is this something you get help with? Determine what is required of you within your job spec and then make sure those requirements are scheduled into your daily time. When do you exercise or spend time with your family? See if you can jot down an ideal time for that. When you determine what your priorities are then it’ll be easy to plug things into your time where you need to, otherwise you’ll never feel like the day should end, and you will risk burning out.
Use a virtual scheduler, physical calendar or diary to move what’s in your mind into another space.
Allow your schedule to be fluid
Being productive in the various areas of influence you have in your life requires planning your time for each one, but only as much as you can. When you allow for flexibility in that schedule so that it’s fluid more than rigid, you’ll succeed in a measure of integration. You don’t want to be hard on yourself, it’s about finding your own unique way of doing things.
Choose your tools
To map out your spaces use a schedule or planning tool such as Monday.com, Google Drive, Asana or Trello to put down your projects and ‘workspaces’ into a virtual and trackable platform, with space for storage and optional collaboration. This will help you to keep them together, and yet still be in their rightful categories. Have a ‘Trello board’, or an ‘Asana project’ set up for everything you need for home life, for your work life and for your personal growth and goals.
Make sure you have what you need in each space
If you are a hybrid or in-office worker then you might find yourself leaving things behind such as your stationary, laptop charger, water bottle or healthy snacks. Each of these things are important for optimal productivity, take a look at our blog on how your workplace wellness routine can impact your productivity. If you need to have a mini water dispenser at your home office and your work office, then consider buying two so that you stay hydrated. In order to remember to bring your laptop charger, set an alarm for yourself before the end of the work day. If you’re in the office one day and at home the next, make sure you’ve planned your weekly lunches and snacks.
Keep your headspace free for productivity
One of the most valuable tools in your toolbox for productivity is a notebook, or a virtual notebook. Albert Einstein kept a notebook because there were too many thoughts running through his mind. When you write things down, you don’t need to hold onto them through the day causing yourself mental fatigue and distraction. Jot down ideas, and have a space where you can keep notes from conversations and meetings with colleagues and supervisors so that you don’t lose track of important information.
Take breaks, enjoy the scenery and be present
This would fall into one of your top priorities for successful productivity in work-life integration. Take breaks, take time to enjoy the journey and the progress you’re making and be present in each moment to get the most out of it. When you show up and do your best, you are already doing a fantastic job. It can be too easy to rush through life, instead, stop yourself regularly to appreciate the smaller moments.
Find ways to boost your creativity
Creativity is an essential part of every facet of your life. You need to be creative to provide solutions and make an impact in all areas of your work and personal life. Have some go-to activities to stimulate your personal creativity. You might get creative when you try a new flavour of ice cream, so when you’re feeling flat, go grab an ice cream! If you need to take a quick drive, or go for a walk in some fresh air, then use those things in the moments when you feel slow. You might be surprised at what a short walk or some jumping jacks and deep breathing can do for your productivity.
As you work towards integrating your work and lifestyle, remember that it is an ongoing process and takes time. With consistency, persistence and a growth mindset, anything is possible.
Ready to apply for the job of your dreams? Register on our award-winning recruitment site and fill in your detailed CV. When applying for positions, you will be given the opportunity to compose your perfect motivational cover letter for prospective employers.