Integrate work and life

Integrate work and life

You could separate work from life. As in the phrase "work-life balance", work versus life. They can be separate buckets with separate goals, time slots, people, and emotions.

Separation definitely makes sense. Work lets us pay for rent and groceries, but might not be fulfilling. Time with friends, hobbies, reading, side-projects -- it's all enjoyable but doesn't pay the bills. Strict separation can be less stressful, too.

However, bucketing might also make you unhappy. If your tasks are something you have to do, it can eat away at the intrinsic motivation you have: of changing the world, of practicing a craft, of creating the simple everyday magic that only you can provide in your role.

The shift from work-as-work to work-as-part-of-your-life seems to be underway right now. Stereotypically, millennials (75% of US workforce in 2030, and >50% today!) want their job to have meaning and impact. That is, they want work to integrate with their life goals.

New careers are being forged out of this integration. Basketball newsletter writers on Substack, food Youtubers, TikTok dance influencers, women's yoga wear small manufacturers, and many others are able to successfully combine personal interest with a way to make a living.

I think this trend will continue. As video calls invaded the living room and emails started to intrude on family dinners, we got serious about what kind of work aligns with our personal direction in the world.