Be deliberate about the way you handle ideas, where you focus, and how you innovate with your customers for validation. Consider this six-step process to bring the best ideas to reality.
8 ways to reclaim sanity at work and home
Forget work-life balance. Try these expert tips on how to blend
5. Break your routines
Figuring out the way that blending works requires a test-and-learn mindset. (Just like agile, right?) IT industry veteran and Kimble Applications co-founder Mark Robinson advises switching up your usual approaches. “Deliberately break the routine,” he says. “Come in early, leave early, [have] lunch with a friend.”
6. Protect yourself
“Work is like water; it spreads and it finds time opportunities. If you let it, it will find a way to occupy every ounce of free time,” says Zabriske. “Plan not only your work schedule but your home schedule too.”
Determine what your priorities are and know that those will change over time, says Robinson. “As my children got older [the blend] changed to trying to watch every sports match they were in.”
7. Set boundaries
Of course, it’s possible to take blending too far. “Like any relationship, you need to have healthy boundaries with your work,” says Dr. Beth Linderbaum, managing consultant at Manpower Group’s career and talent development unit Right Management. Those boundaries will look different for each person.
“One aspect of healthy boundary setting may mean fully disconnecting from technology both for success at work and personally – one to two hours a day, one day a week, and 1 week a quarter,” Linderbaum says. “This can foster time for recovery, creativity, or important human interactions.
8. Monitor your progress
You can’t manage what you don’t measure. That’s true for work-life blending, too. “Check in with stakeholders: you, your boss, your direct reports, and your family are good examples of these people,” Zabriske says. (Just don’t call your loved one a "stakeholder" to their face, we might add.) “Is everyone getting what they need, or is something out of whack?” Then, tweak your decisions as needed.
[ Working on your emotional intelligence? Learn the behaviors to avoid as you build your EQ: 10 things leaders with emotional intelligence never do. ]