What does it mean to lead an “integrated life?”
You want – and need – time for family, for personal relationships, for community involvement, as well as for hobbies and other interests. They help you refuel your soul and are important parts of what makes life worth living.
You also need – and want – to work
Certainly we all need an income, but there’s more to it than that. Work feeds our need to contribute to something bigger, it can provide an important sense of purpose, it can even be re-energizing. However, our need for work and our need for life outside of work often feel in conflict. And because these two spheres seem to compete for our time and energy, we feel stressed out and less than competent on both fronts.
There is a different way
If you arrange your work and home lives so they fit together to fulfill all your needs, you can create a life that has time for your work as well as time for relationships, family and outside interests. That’s what it means to lead an integrated life – to create your “third path.” These two worlds are integrated to create a well-rounded whole. It’s a more complete version of you. It’s the you with time to enjoy all the different parts of your life that light your passion alongside work or a fulfilling career.
~ Take a look at our Key Integration Practices handout with tips for setting “win-win” boundaries at work so you have more time for life.
~ Peruse the rest of our website for inspiring ideas and stories about integrating work and life, work and family, or work and leadership.
~ Learn by participating in our free Thursdays with ThirdPath webinars or by joining our community of Integrated Life Advocates
Find out more about the many resources we offer to help you take the next step towards achieving your dream of leading an integrated life.
Questions About Integrating Work and Life
Q: Where do I begin?
Q: What do you mean by a win-win solution?
ThirdPath is here to help you design your win-win solution. Print a copy of our Four Ways to Flex worksheet and find the win-win solution for the work you do. Or take a look at our Get Help section and see how we can work with you to find your “third path” – an integrated approach to work and life.
Q: Is working flexibly for Dads and leaders too?
Survey after survey shows that fathers want to spend more time with their children. We’ve also learned that sharing in the responsibilities and joys of family allows both parents to have a deeper understanding of each other’s lives.
Our work with Integrated Leaders has also shown they bring unique skills to their roles as managers and leaders. In fact, it is the well practiced combination of setting priorities, looking for efficiencies, increasing the level of interdependence, and setting collective boundaries that makes these integrated leaders so competent. Most importantly, their desire to create time and energy for their lives outside of work gives them the motivation to develop these skills.
No matter the reason, no matter the work, everyone gains when dads, moms and leaders are supported to live full lives – their families, their organizations, their communities.
Q: Is living an integrated life affordable?
Q: How can I get more involved in the work and mission of your organization?
Contact us, we’d love to find a way to connect your interest with one of our many cutting edge activities.
Creating More Flex
We believe there is a win-win work redesign solution for every job – a solution that is good for you and good for your employer. To look for these solutions you first need to understand the four different ways to flex work and then see which of these options apply to your work. Not every job can be flexed in all four ways, but there is a flexible solution for every job. Print a copy of our Four Ways to Flex worksheet and look for the unique flexibility in the work you do. Or read on to learn how Adam found a win-win solution for flexing his work.
Adam’s story – Adam joined an import-export company located in Central America. Adam works out of a home office on the east coast and does business across the continental United States and the Caribbeans. Adam is also the father of two school age children. Adam and his wife established a commitment to Share Care right from the start. Now that their children are older he and his wife Share Care before and after school and over the summers.
Q: How does Adam flex ‘when’ he works?
Q: How does Adam flex ‘where’ he works?
Q: How does Adam adjust ‘workflow’ to maintain the right amount of work?
Q: How does Adam use ‘substitution’ to maintain the right amount of work?
Would you like to flex where or when you work or work reduced work hours? Check our our many resources. Let us help you take the next step towards achieving an integrated life.
Prioritizing Time and Money
One of the main barriers we hear people talk about – they feel they cannot afford to cut back at work to make more time for other life interests. This is particularly true in today’s struggling economy and difficult job market. However, after interviewing hundreds of individuals who have discovered how to create an integrated approach to work and life, we know there are many creative solutions to this puzzle.
What does this mean for your life?
More and more we are finding people who have made innovative decisions about time and money. What would your life look like if you were to consider earning or spending a little less to create more time? What choices have you made that tie you to your current, or even increased, income? There is tremendous pressure in our society to “climb” – at our jobs, in our social circles – how have you reacted to this pressure?
What do you want more time for? What kind of changes can you make today to make your dreams more affordable tomorrow? Learn more from the many resources we have to offer.
Brett is an equity partner in a large international law firm. Little did he know how much his decision to teach a course while moving ahead on the partnership track would be the first step in developing a set of 21stcentury skills – skills that he uses every day, now that he’s balancing work and family.
Colin works as an engineer for a small company that designs and manufactures custom cycles for the physically disabled. He is also married, and the father of three children under the age of 8. To create more time for family, Colin has been working a four day (34 hour) work week.
Michelle graduated with a degree in accounting and English. After working full time for a few years, Michelle researched the company’s policies and then re-arranged her schedule to do writing during the off season. This fall we will add part 2 of her story now that she is integrating work, family and writing.