Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

Why we shouldn’t strive for work-life balance – but complete life integration 

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Sharing our authentic stories is about ourselves, building relevant connections and all of that makes us happier and can even lead to financial success.

Who doesn’t want to be happy? I know I do. I assume nobody gets up on Mondays and says they are looking forward to being as unhappy as possible today. I want to be as happy as I can – every day.

Certainly, I do have to make some money to buy food, pay the mortgage and buy American Girl Dolls for the girls (ha #dadlife). But working for the weekend or the next vacation or the evening seems like a missed opportunity of the rest of my life.

As Neil Pasricha reminds us in “The Happiness Equation”, there are 168 hours in a week. CEOs don’t get more hours than frontline staff. Everyone starts and finishes with the same number of hours. Neil reminds us of three buckets – each with 56 hours:

  • Sleep (I wish! #dadlife)
  • Whatever pays the bills (aka job)
  • Other things (gym, playing with the kids, writing a book, blogging, etc.)

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Neil counts driving to work and checking email at night in that 56-hour work bucket. I suppose that bucket can be much closer to 40 hours even – depending on your commute and those related tasks. For example, my drive to the office is 15 minutes max. So, if I drive to the office Monday – Friday, which isn’t that often with frequent travel, my bucket for that area would be around 43 hours.

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When one bucket takes more than its share of 56 hours the others get less. For example, somebody who works 80 hours per week, that means they have 24 fewer hours in those other buckets. They either sleep less or spend less time with their family. The extra work time comes from somewhere.

Work-life integration means that our work is not part of our life. I would say that for people to be happy it has to be part of our lives.

How do you have a fully integrated life (and story)?

Figure out what you want to do with your life. No worries – it’s okay to change course later, too, if you want. It is good, however, to have a guiding star and principle. My guiding principle is to help organizations be authentic and share their stories for great connections and better, more relevant and longer-term outcomes.

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Figure out what you enjoy doing. I enjoy learning about people and organizations as well as our community stories. Journalism and later content marketing journalism and authentic storytelling were good matches.

Figure out what you are good at. I believe on focusing on my strengths and less on working on my weaknesses. I am aware of my weaknesses though.

Find the right partners and people to work with. That could mean a forward-thinking, collaborative and flexible company. It also might mean that certain clients are better fits than others.
Once all these align we can have full integration. And full integration does not mean that we work 80-hour weeks. Sometimes we might work 40, 38, and sometimes it could be 50.

Charles Duhigg in his productivity book  says that once you hit 55 hours of working per week productive no longer increases anyway.

Living an authentic and meaningful life is really only doable when we chase and live our passion. That’s in all parts of our lives. Not just outside of work.
That’s why I’m looking for full life integration and not work-life balance. I only have one life.

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Disclaimers: The information provided in articles is for informational purposes only and not personalized advice. It's accurate to the best of my knowledge at the time it's published. Enjoy and best of luck telling the best stories in your organization and life! Some articles may include affiliate links.

Christoph Trappe

Hello and thanks for stopping by. I'm Christoph Trappe. I've written two books, speak at conferences around the globe and blog frequently on here. I love sharing my stories and helping organizations share theirs. If you need help, just visit the Contact Me page in the navigation and drop me a note. I'm always happy to chat! Thanks for reading! - Christoph 319-389-9853

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