Dec 20, 2012

Finding a Better Work/Life Integration

The back cover of USAA magazine always features a notable USAA member. One recent issue featured the CEO of Campbell's Soup Company, Denise Morrison. She said that instead of "work/life balance," she prefers to achieve "work/life integration."

I've decided I like that idea better too, especially since I now work at home and have found that trying to separate my various activities and roles doesn't work very well. But integrating them together - that's a concept I can work with.

Lately, I've found myself struggling to get everything done. It started at the end of last month, when my room parent responsibilities for both my sons' classes kicked in (organizing the class gift for both classes, plus some other obligations at school). And then there were the overwhelming number of deals to post, and all the plans I had for what I wanted to get done at home ...

I need better integration. I'm not sure exactly how to achieve it yet, but I wanted to give you a heads up, since if you're a regular reader, you've probably noticed that I've stopped the Evening Roundup in the last week. It's one of the ways I'm experimenting to see if I can be more productive overall.

Another thing I've been doing is decluttering like crazy. As you may already know, I'm a big believer in maintaining a stash of gifts to avoid last minute runs to the store before birthday parties. However, I realized that I've been keeping more than I need, so I donated over half of my stash to a toy drive. I also let go of some sentimental items, and am creating plans to let go of more sentimental items that I know we'll never use.

As I create space in my house, I've also been working hard to fill it intentionally. For example, I've earmarked the space created in my closet by donating all of those toys for the boxes that I keep our holiday decorations in. I'm excited about this, because moving those boxes will give me easier access to other boxes that I've been wanting to go through for a long time but kept avoiding. Being able to get to those boxes without having to move a whole bunch of others means I can go through those boxes in brief spurts - and breaking up a dreaded task into small parts makes it a lot more palatable.

Decluttering goes hand in hand with re-organizing, and organization is a huge key to integrating the different parts of my life. However, right now, I am not feeling quite so organized as I would like to be, and I think it shows in my house. We're hosting Christmas dinner, and this is one of those times that I will have to make use of what Flylady calls Crisis Cleaning. While not ideal, it does feel good to get the house cleaned and that gives me a good starting point from which to work toward maintenance so that crisis cleaning isn't necessary.

What are your best tips for work/life integration?

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