We recently wrapped up another Women in Leadership speaker event. During the discussion, our panel provided invaluable insights into challenges and strategies that can help in achieving a healthy work-life integration. They talked about their own personal experiences, where they’re struggling, where they’re thriving, and how D2L has helped them integrate and balance their personal and professional lives. The panelists also encouraged attendees to prioritize self-care, redefine success and recognize the value of disconnecting from work.
Let’s dive into the key takeaways from this session.
Work and Life Integration: A Practitioner’s Perspective
One notable concept that came up during the event was about being a “practitioner of work and life.” It suggests that instead of striving for a perfect balance, people should focus on finding a dynamic equilibrium that works on a personal and individual level.
The reality is that we’ll always have peaks and valleys when it comes to workload. We need to honor what feels right for us and reject the notion that work and life can always be a 50-50 split. This mindset helps us to be more intentional about our choices and priorities, supporting us in finding harmony between our personal and professional lives.
Validating Work-Life Integration Matters for All
The event also reinforced that work-life integration is a universal struggle. Whatever they are, everyone grapples with unique challenges and commitments. Panelists encouraged us to embrace the complexities in our lives and refrain from comparing ourselves to others. Recognizing the uniqueness of your journey can make it easier to help maintain a healthy relationship with work and life.
Feeling like you don’t get to have work-life balance because you don’t have kids at home you need to look after, for example, is a dangerous and slippery slope.
Prioritizing Self-Care and Time Spent Meaningfully: “Put Your Own Oxygen Mask on First”
A crucial aspect of achieving work-life integration is recognizing the importance of self-care. Panelists emphasized the importance of putting our own wellbeing first. They also talked about identifying both the activities that rejuvenate and energize us as well as those that drain us, helping us better mitigate their impacts.
Our best is different day to day, and to judge ourselves on past ‘bests’ isn’t fair to ourselves.
Our panel also reminded us that although work is a significant part of our lives, it should be an enabler for leading a fulfilling life rather than the sole purpose of it. By maintaining perspective and nurturing personal connections, we can lead lives enriched by the experiences and relationships that matter to us.
When we look back on our lives, we aren’t going to wish we had another meeting or solved that problem or made a great presentation to that customer. We’re going to look back on time spent with friends, family and ourselves doing things we love—traveling, spending time with people, creating, living life fully in our own way. That’s what matters. Work is the enabler for that, but it’s not the thing itself.
Overcoming Guilt and Setting Boundaries
The panel also highlighted the tendency we sometimes have to impose guilt on ourselves or hold ourselves to impossibly high standards. Their advice was to give grace and seek perspective from others who can offer more objective viewpoints. For example, a coworker or manager can help you recognize that having the organization and your peers supporting you while you’re out of office is a sign of maturity and scale in a business. While it can be tempting to stay connected, check an email or send a short message, “fake” days off (where you’re out of office but aren’t actually disconnected) can leave you feeling more exhausted than before.
Work-life integration isn’t always easy, but it’s worth it. If this discussion recap resonated with you, and you want to join an organization that values work-life integration, employee well-being, and amplifies the voices of women, then check out our open roles or learn more about diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging at D2L.