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Is Meshing Work and Home Life a Good Idea?

Some people pride themselves on combining their work and home lives. But a MSU professor thinks that we need to separate one from the other. Read her take on this.

Ellen Kossek, a professor of organizational behavior at Michigan State University, says that integrating the two “is a time waster. It takes extra energy to do two things at once.” The think is, most of us do combine the two, I know that I do. I decided to take the short quiz. Apparently I am an integrator or a mesher. But that does not surprise me. I even to to my office on the weekends.

Take this simple quiz to find out if you’re an integrator or a separator.

_My kitchen table doubles as my home office. No. But my coffee table does, I decided not to split hairs and own up to working from home

_I use the same calendar for work and family.


_I take calls from the office after hours.


_I squeeze in family tasks during the workday.


_I check work e-mail on weekends.


If you agree with three or more of these statements, you’re an integrator.

Professor Kossek advises 'integrators' to learn to separate, take a few minutes each morning to list your home and work priorities and plot distinct blocks of time to finish each. She says it’s still acceptable to pick up your dry cleaning during the day, but limit it to lunchtime and make yourself switch to work mode when the hour is up.

Books by Ellen Kossek, available from Amazon:

This is not a sit back and read book, but it is interesting Work and Life Integration: Organizational, Cultural, and Individual Perspectives (Lea's Organization and Management)

CEO of Me: Creating a Life that Works in the Flexible Job Age
Hone your skills for work and family and you hone them for living life to the fullest


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