Is Work-Life Blend More Achievable Than Work-Life Balance? Paralegals Share Uncommon Tips [ + Sustainable Checklist]
Work-life balance. Doesn’t it sound nice?
But it is again midweek, and you find yourself doing more than expected— calls, endless legal documents, casework—despite knowing what work-life balance is and why it is so important..
You’ve forgotten about doing morning yoga, having a mindful dinner, making homemade bone broth, going for an evening walk, or anything else social media tells you that a well-rounded person should do. Perhaps it’s time for a new model? Consider a work-life blend instead.
How can you handle a problem better? What if you blended these competing responsibilities together instead of trying to balance them? Does this work in law? We’ve got real-life insights from paralegals and an ultimate checklist with uncommon proven tips to get you started.
What Is Work-Life Blend?
The work-life blend is about finding a way to merge work and life harmoniously and intuitively. Work is viewed not as something that overshadows life but, rather, as an inevitable part of life. Work and life happen simultaneously and are integral parts of our identities.
A work-life blend is an alternative to work-life balance to fit the modern realities of the remote work culture. In fact, 63 percent of paralegals reported increased productivity at home compared to the office. Covid-19 has significantly contributed to flexibility in work-life management.
Work-life blend doesn’t mean that everything is always happening at the same time. It’s about finding a way to fit together the critical pieces while preserving one essential thing—mindfulness. Although work and life are merged together, a person still needs to master the power of concentrating on one thing at a time.
Like work-life balance, work-life blend is about balancing professional and personal lives in a way that keeps us mentally healthy. A work-life blend model, for example, offers places for yoga or mindful lunches with friends during the working day or places for checking emails on Saturday morning. Compromises are what make us happier in the end.
Work-Life Balance VS Work-Life Blend: Key Differences
The difference between these two approaches may be described in two words: separation (work-life balance) vs. integration (work-life blend). Here’s a more detailed illustrated overview for deeper learning:
Insights on Work-Life Management from Paralegals
We interviewed paralegals who shared their opinions about whether the work-life blend works in the legal industry and what exactly helps them to stay mentally healthy.
Set clear boundaries and say “No!”
Take it from Julie Enez:
Also, don’t feel sorry for setting boundaries, taking a lunch break free from work duties, or not working extra time for free. Like Guy Hill mentioned:
Forget about multitasking
Never multitask. There is no such thing as multitasking. Our brains switch between different tasks in mere seconds. Multitasking decreases achievement and meaning while increasing stress. Efficiency can drop as much as 40 percent when a person attempts to multitask.
So, the next time you find yourself in a vain effort to assuage the guilt of not being at the other end of the work-life seesaw, doing different activities at the same time, try to come back to be present in whatever you’re doing.
Maintain your triangle of life
Guy Hill, a Litigation & Real Estate Paralegal, shared his success formula, which is called the Triangle of Life:
Work-life blend or work-life balance? It depends.
Not every paralegal feels right about the work-life blend. Often, taking work home negatively affects relationships with family and is not really the best idea, especially if you cannot concentrate on one thing at a time. For instance, Guy Hill refers to home as a “safe haven.”
Like Eda Rosa highlighted, it all depends on a variety of circumstances:
It’s all about attitude
You cannot control the behavior of others. However, you can learn to control how you react:
Find a rewarding hobby
Doing things that you love every day is an inevitable side effect of a healthy mindset.
Remember that these are just pieces of advice proven in practice. Your life situation is always unique. Don’t make yourself implement all the tips immediately. Take small steps. Implementing even one of the following tips might help you achieve your sustainable work-life balance or blend.
Ultimate Checklist With Practical Steps
Finally, here’s a practical checklist with tips that you can save for later or implement immediately to improve your efficiency:
Resources for Lawyers
Legal professionals are at a high risk of burnout, with participants aged 26 to 35 displaying the highest burnout scores. For this reason, we have valuable resources for all legal professionals prepared by Lawrina, including:
- The Wheel of Life for Lawyers
- A Guide to Well-Being in the Legal Profession: 7 Tips for Sound Mental Health
- 7 Takeaways From Loio’s Webinar on Lawyers’ Well-Being
There is no one “right” strategy. It’s all about experimenting mindfully and determining what actually lowers your stress, benefits your personal well-being, and becomes more efficient in every sphere. Don’t get too attached to the terminology or listen too closely to others’ success stories. Mix and match to find your golden middle.
The best way to achieve success in all aspects of your life is to take care of your mental and physical health daily. You matter.