For the past week I have really been looking closely at the way I approach work. While doing some reading about priorities, I have been thinking about what it really means to “work less, do more.” I am convinced that all of us can have a propensity to “pace” ourselves when it comes to our work. This is especially true for “knowledge workers” who work on their own.
The truth is the work landscape is changing. It is less about the 9 to 5 and more about producing the results. If you are a freelancer, your clients aren’t as concerned about how long you work as much as the quality result you produce. It’s all about results.
Is a 4-Hour Workday possible?
Years ago I read Tim Ferriss’ 4-Hour Work Week Book. It was a fascinating read and it did challenge me on a few different levels. My problem came in the application. A 4-hour work week just did not seem possible. However, a 4-hour workday really intrigues me.
The Main Lesson I Learned from Homeschooling My Kids
A few years ago when my kids were much younger, we chose to home-school our kids. Since my wife was a veteran teacher of 5 years and had a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education, I knew we could provide them with a solid educational experience.
Probably the most intriguing lesson I learned from the whole homeschooling experience is how much you can get done in a day when you focus on work….period. My kids were finished with school everyday by noon. I don’t say that because they were super smart kids (even though I may be bias). They were finished because they purely focused on the task at hand.
In a regular school setting, you are juggling many different things that carry you away from the core job of learning. I don’t say that to be critical, it is just a fact.
My 4-Hour Workday Experiment
One of the areas I am going to challenge myself in the upcoming year is in the area of work. What would happen if I focused on getting all of my work done before noon each day? That is the question I am planning on tackling. If you are in a situation where this might work for you, please join me.
This will be difficult for me because I’ve bought into the quantity idea for so long. The longer we work the more effort we think we have made. Is that really true? I don’t think so. I think I have figured out that I get the most fulfillment with results.
This begs the question: if you can get a ton of stuff done in 4 hours, why not just work more and get even more things done? My answer is simple…because we are human. We are not productivity machines. Restoration is just as much a part of productivity.
I do my best work after rest and after taking strategic breaks. It is just the way we were made. My plan is to update you on my journey as I go down the road of the 4-hour workday. By the way, my workday trial will be from 8-noon everyday.
It may be impossible and it may not be easy, but I have a hunch that it will do a few things for me:
- Identify the core elements of what I must do
- Teach me to delegate more of what I don’t have to do (outsourcing)
- Show me the value of rest and relationships
- Create more more margin in my life for the purpose of expanding relationships
- Spend more time with family
- Teach me that I don’t find my identity in my work
Question: If the 4-Hour Workday were possible for you, what would you have to do differently?