Dear reader, DJ school’s in session. Today’s class topic is the age-old debate of work life balance vs. work life integration. Buzzwords aplenty, but we’re gonna get to the nitty-gritty of it all.
If you’re like most people, you’ve probably struggled at some point with finding the right balance between your career and personal life. You might have even tried to merge the two together in an attempt to create harmony. But which approach is the right one for you?
That’s what we’re here to explore today – and I’d say it’s pretty timely. 2023 is only days away, and while I think you can refine your habits any time of the year – the onset of a new year is always a great motivation booster.
In this post, I’ll take a deep dive into the pros and cons of both work life balance and work life integration, and give you some tips for finding the right approach for you.
So, sit back, relax, and let’s get started on this journey to work-life harmony!
What’s work-life balance, anyway?
So, chances are you’ve heard the term work-life balance thrown around a lot. It’s a lifestyle buzzword. You see it all over TikTok and Instagram. You see your favorite creators close their laptops and seemingly not think about work from 5:00pm until whenever they log on again – and you’re probably a little envious.
Remember that those aesthetic videos take lots of work, and people usually are only showing an ideal online – not real life.
Let’s define work-life balance. Simply put, it’s the idea of finding a balance between your work and personal life. It means making sure that you have enough time and energy for both your job and your personal pursuits, such as family, friends, hobbies, downtime, and self-care. Yes, I think having downtime and practicing self-care are two different things, but downtime is a form of self-care.
Yet, here’s the thing: work-life balance means something different to everyone. For some people, it might mean leaning into the 9:00 to 5:00 lifestyle and having the evenings and weekends off to relax and recharge. For some, it might even mean starting their own business and setting their own hours – like I did. Trust me – finding that balance when working non-traditional hours took some work.
So, how do you find the right work-life balance for you? That’s the million-dollar question. It’s a process of trial and error, and it might take some time to figure out what works best for you.
Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Set boundaries: Make sure you set clear boundaries between your work and personal time. This might mean creating a ‘Focus’ on your phone that limits work notifications when you aren’t working, setting limits on how much time you spend working, or even just taking a few minutes to decompress before and after work.
- Prioritize self-care: Don’t neglect your own needs in the pursuit of work-life balance. Make time for exercise, relaxation, and other forms of self-care to help you feel refreshed and rejuvenated.
- Communicate: If you’re struggling to find the right balance, don’t be afraid to speak up. If you’re a full time DJ, maybe it means taking a few less monthly gigs. Maybe it means outsourcing – which I talk about in this article. If you’re still working your day job, talk to your boss, your coworkers, and your loved ones about your needs and see if there are any adjustments that can be made to help you achieve a better balance.
In the end, and it might sound a little cliché, work-life balance is all about finding what works best for you. It takes some experimentation and communication skills, but – it’s worth it.
Plus, you’ve got to know your limits too. If you’re trying to build your DJ business while working a full-time day job, you’re going to burn out pretty quickly.
Set availability and communication expectations with your DJ clients and make sure your day job doesn’t suffer – you may need to do both for a while until you get to the point where you can leave your day job (if that’s your goal), so it’s important to keep things sustainable.
So, what’s work-life integration then?
Now that I’ve yarned about work-life balance, let’s dive into the concept of work-life integration.
The concept of work-life integration is the idea of blending your work and personal life together rather than trying to keep them separate. This will typically look like a work from home arrangement that allows you to take breaks during the day to run errands and take care of personal tasks. It can be pretty liberating.
It’s important to note that this sort of arrangement really depends on the job you’re working and whether your role is outcome based or a more traditional clock-in/clock-out arrangement. If you’re on the clock, it’s probably not cool to step out to grab a cappuccino for an hour.
The Pros and Cons
Now, work-life integration might sound like a dream come true for some people. No more rigid schedule, no more waiting until after work or requesting some precious PTO for personal appointments, no more feeling like you have to ‘choose’ between your career and your personal life.
However, work-life integration isn’t for everyone.
One potential downside is that it can be difficult to set boundaries between your work and personal time. You might find yourself working longer hours or feeling like you can’t fully disconnect from your job. It can also be tough to find the right balance between work and personal tasks, which can lead to feelings of burnout or stress.
That said, work-life integration can also have some major benefits. For one, it can be more flexible and allow you to have a better work-life balance. It can also give you the opportunity to pursue a side-hustle and other personal interests while still making a living.
Ultimately, whether work-life integration is right for you depends on your needs, life circumstances, and your personal approach to work-related stressors. That’s really key; if you can’t disconnect and tend to ruminate over work a lot, work-life integration may not be for you – and that’s okay!
When it comes to balance vs. integration, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons and decide what works best for you. Consider the nature of your job(s) as well – integration might be the only option for some folks, and balance for others.
Not sure what approach will work for you? No sweat. I offer 1:1 coaching sessions, and I leverage my near-twenty years of experience to help my clients identify and action their goals – even outside the DJ space, I gotchu. Book here!
If you’re ready to take the plunge and quit your day job to pursue building that DJ empire, check out The Lab. They’re DJ lessons, all online. We’ve got templates, worksheets, and super-valuable info. Plus – they’re useful for those outside the DJ space, just like my coaching services, and the videos never expire.
Ready to get started? Here’s our sign-up form here.