Stop Striving for Work-Life Balance and Start Integrating

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February 6, 2015
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February 23, 2015

Stop Striving for Work-Life Balance and Start Integrating

At our office, I balance on a Reebok Balance Board while working at my standing desk. One reason for my unique work environment is that the research behind sitting for eight hours a day is dismal and can lead to early death, even if that person works out at some later point in the day. Which leads me to the second reason for my unique work environment, which is about creating an integrated life.

In my post on finding a mentor, I talked about the four areas of life I’d like to keep improving on (Health, Wealth, Love and Happiness) as a means to living the great life. A typical reaction to this might be to calendar out segments of my day, week or even year to make sure I’m covering each area equally. Some might call this work-life balance. But what if instead of segmenting out each area of my life, I focused on integrating all the areas of my life so they work together towards a greater whole? I’m not talking about multi-tasking, which has proven to not be effective, but rather, integration, where one action achieves two or more results.

Here are some examples from my life:

  • Annie and I go on a yearly ski trip with friends. (Love, Happiness and Health)
  • Annie travels with me to a work conference in Orlando. (Wealth and Love)
  • Standing desk at work. (Health and Wealth)
  • Writing on my public blog. (Wealth and Happiness)
  • Gratitude Challenge during our daily work huddle. (Wealth and Happiness)
  • Walk with Annie to and from work. (Wealth, Love and Health)
  • Stay with my parents when I’m working in the Chicago land area. (Happiness and Wealth)
  • Work out with my dad at the gym. (Happiness and Health)
  • Yearly entrepreneurs adventure retreat. (Happiness, Health and Wealth)

Sometimes I’ll only be integrating two elements, other times three or four. Overall, my goal is to reduce the number of times I’m only integrating one element at a time, and up the number of times I’m integrating two, three or four elements into one space. This helps to move me away from a compartmentalized life into an integrated life. It moves me away from the fallacy of work-life balance and into the great life of integration.

Think about your life, what areas could you up the level of integration?

Tom Krieglstein
Tom Krieglstein
Student retention fanatic. Founder of #SAchat, AlumniChoose.org, & SwiftKickOnline.com. Also, NY #TechStars Alumni.