Question 7

A ten day exploration of some interesting questions - Day 7

📅 15 Feb 2021

This is day 7 of 10 exploring some interesting questions. Feel free to start at the beginning.

Day 7: If I could only work for four hours this week, what would I work on?

I personally don’t like questions like this. I assume this is coming from, “The Four Hour Work Week”, of which I am not a huge fan.

I agree with parts of the idea. We waste a lot of time doing unnecessary things and could enjoy life a lot more if we didn’t do those things.

However, I am a believer that we have an innate desire to work - to do good, productive work. Obviously this looks different for everyone, but I don’t think it looks like working 4 hours then sitting on a beach for the rest. Not only that, that lifestyle is simply not feasible for a lot of people.

It also doesn’t look like working 100 hours per week, year after year after year.

So why make such an extreme suggestion?

Well, for one, it is popular. We live in a world of extremes. Without getting too philosophical, we have a propensity to take things way too far. I’m not a historian, so I really don’t know when this started. I assume that’s it’s been with us for a while: The Four Hour Work Week is just one example.

Second, I think in some cases it makes people feel good. It’s almost empowering to engage in extreme thinking or behavior.

So perhaps a more practical approach to this question is to assume that for a reason outside of your control you CAN’T WORK more than 4 hours a week. Maybe you are caring for a sick loved one, or taking care of yourself.

In this case, I think I would spend at least an hour of that time building relationships. With so little time actually spent working, it would probably be critical to build relationships with the people you work with.

Second, I would probably spend the rest of the time doing the rest of the things I was being paid to do. The coding, the writing, the business plans, proposals, sales, etc. I would probably leave a little time at the end to update my boss on my progress but that may be included in the relationship building time.

OK, I don’t want to bash The Four Hour Work Week too much. I’m sure it has helped some people have a better relationship with their work and that’s a good thing. I just don’t think 4 hours should be the goal. The goal should be, in short, to have a better balance. That looks different for everyone.

Day 25: #100DaysToOffload

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