This new term, "blended living" might come in handy when formulating work/life plans in your firm.It means blending together the different aspects of your life rather than having the silo approach, according to Carol McLachlan, a professional-development coach. The philosophy has efficiency/time optimization advantages, but also allows staffers to reap the rewards of synergy between the different aspects of their lives.

She offers the example of a busy, young, single consultant who had a conflict between long hours at work and one of her prime goals to get to the gym. The solution: train as a fitness instructor, which allowed her to keep fit and get paid a small amount for doing the exercise she was trying to cram in each week.

Among other examples: activities that the staffer's family can do together, providing quality family time but also achieving one or more of the staffer's other priority areas, too; family sports activities; and cooking holidays.

"I'm always looking for opportunities to combine kids and my career," McLachlan says. "For example, taking them into the office on Saturday morning. I'm not talking trying to get to grips with a heavy report here but using the time for less demanding but equally necessary routine task like admin, e-mails, and other simpler tasks."

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