We all hear the term work-life balance tossed around, but now more than ever people are referring to it as work life blend. I believe that work life blend may be a much more accurate term. Take my vacation last week as an example. The goal of it was to spend as much quality time with my daughters as possible. Still, I have a business to run with many obligations, so I had no choice but to blend while on it.

How did I do it? I set aside one full day of the vacation to conduct meetings and stacked them back to back. I told my teeenage daughters that they had that day to themselves to do as they wished. I hunkered down and plowed through the meetings being as productive as I could between breaks. For the rest of the week, I squished my work-related tasks into the hours before they got up in the morning (which is late because they’re teenagers) or after we arrived back at the resort in the evenings. All in all, I managed to get everything done successfully and still have a really nice time with my daughters. You can blend in this manner too.

Here are several steps that you can use for improving work life blend:

  1. Think of tasks in terms of what has to get done now, and what needs to get done next.
  2. Structure your work time in blocks. Set aside a block here and a block there around other non-work-related obligations. Tackle the thing that needs to get done first in the first available block, the next in the next available block, and so on.
  3. Communicate with key people in your life about what you are going to do when, and how/when you are setting time aside for them.
  4. In all of your busy times, ensure that you are still getting enough time for physical activity and sleep. You’ll blend better if you do.
  5. Double up when you can. For example, take a walk (fitness) while making a call you need to make (business).
  6. Keep rolling forward in this manner. There is a time and a place to fit it all in.

And, there is often extra work on the back end of something like a vacation. When I get back, I use these same steps. What can I accomplish in block 1, block 2, block 3, and block 4.? What do I need to get done now and what can wait until the next available block? Work life blend is really about planning and communication, so go ahead and get blending!