Integrate

Why work-life balance is a myth, and what you really need to create a fulfilling lifestyle
Integrate by John Drury

As I’d read a little about John’s work, I thought this would be a wonderful opportunity to really look within myself and self-assess how I work. Most of us become so busy with work that we can easily burn out – John’s book covers a more sustainable way of enjoying the work we do and integrating a practical strategy to ensure that we achieve the elusive work-life balance that will see us more in control and enjoying ourselves.

One of my favourite quotes from the book is: “Work is part of life, not against life.” It shows that self-respect is incredibly important but it’s equally important to have a healthy relationship with your boss. Therefore, once the job is done and they’re on their way, you may have a little leeway to recoup. Sometimes it’s hard to ensure everyone, including yourself, is happy and fulfilled. The book illustrates this in three parts: developing self-respect, prioritising self-care and implementing self-management.

John also delves into delegating and the importance of managing stress levels behind it. If you look at the self-management part of his book, you will discover that delegating not only supports your workload as a manager but helps team members feel safe and empowered. He adds helpful case studies, strategies and steps you may wish to bring to your boss during performance management and development meetings. What I like is that John practices what he preaches – the book encourages building support networks, which most EAs have down to a tee, but not many of us have the opportunities for a paid mentor and this is something I believe all businesses should look at implementing – definitely something to bring to the table during performance meetings.

  Brooke is EA to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Global Engagement at The University of Sydney.

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