I had a great call yesterday with a fellow member of a business group that I belong to. On that call, he dropped the term “integrated living”. I had to ask, at which point we entered into a lively debate about the expression “work/life balance” and how it’s really a relic of the pre-internet era. With clients and contacts located around the globe, “flex hours” and a steady rise of “second businesses”, setting artificial boundaries of “working hours” vs “leisure” hours is a recipe for failure.
In today’s world healthy, “balanced” individuals understand that they have 16-18 hours in a day to play with. How you carve those hours up is up to you, but I feel it’s important to remind ourselves that work does not have to take place between 8 and 6, with “social” coming after. If it makes sense to take a three-hour lunch with your spouse (because you can) then do that… so long as you have the discipline and focus to understand what’s important (read: needs to be done) and schedule that time accordingly.
I think there’s a great freedom to this new potential. I write better at night. So I write at night, often doing errands during the day, and enjoying the hours between 5 and 8pm with my fiancée. And no, this is not limited to entrepreneurs. Forward thinking companies understand this concept and teach it to their people. When you trust your people to do what needs to be done, it doesn’t matter if they get a haircut at 10:30am on a Tuesday.