Whether you've ever been on the brink of burnout — a syndrome that 77% of the US workforce has struggled with — or you're simply doing your best to prevent it, you may have been asked by a well-meaning person in your life, "how's your work-life balance?" If the whole concept feels elusive, that’s because it is. For one thing, the idea of balance implies that work exists on one end of the fulcrum and life exists on the other — that they're completely separate.
What's more, striving for a perfect equilibrium is unrealistic, and can (ironically) lead to burnout. That's where "work-life integration" comes in.
According to a recent article co-written by Thrive Global founder and CEO Arianna Huffington and Deloitte's Chief Well-Being Officer Jen Fisher, "The things we value most outside of work aren't obstacles to success that need to be hidden or apologized for or checked at the door when we arrive at the office. With work-life integration, those things are the very aspects of our lives that can fuel our success." Ultimately, work-life integration is a philosophy that acknowledges the whole human — your career, your relationships, your health — and finding mutual value among them. What's more, it's perfectly OK to prioritize different areas at different moments, based on what is going on in your life.
The good news is you don’t need to rehaul your life overnight to become a master of work-life integration. According to the latest brain science, starting small — with too-small-to-fail Microsteps — is the most effective way to make habits stick. Take this quiz to see where you are in your work-life integration journey, and learn a Microstep to help you set healthy boundaries and thrive in every aspect of your life.
Question 1 of 6
You have a dinner with friends scheduled for Wednesday (it’s been on the calendar for weeks). It’s only Monday, but you're swamped at work. You: