While at work today I thought a lot about working part time. I have no doubt that a desire to be in bed watching TV had a big part to do with that but the thought also passed across my brain waves out of a desire to write more. Before starting work full time again I used to occasionally ride down to the library to do some writing. It was this new, beautiful, library that sat out over the water in the docklands. I would get a coffee, put my headphones in, listen to something instrumental, and write. It was pretty great, although I don’t think I realised exactly how great until I started back at my nine to five. Now, it’s what I fantasise about when I’m at work. Of course, money’s pretty great too, and I can’t deny that before I was working full time money was the thing I would fantasise about, not free time.
Clearly I had a tiring day at work, and I did, and I’ll probably have one tomorrow, then after that I’ll still have two more days left in my working week, and during all this I’ll probably feel guilty and annoyed that I’m not getting much writing done. Which is why I’m about to rant.
I strongly believe, and have for years now, that in this modern age we don’t have a good work/life balance. Admittedly some people handle it pretty well. They’ll work their 40+ hours a week and still manage to exercise, socialise, cook meals, learn a language, and sustain a number of hobbies. Those people are freaks, or perhaps crack addicts. Us mere (and sober) mortals often get home at the end of the day exhausted and spent. While I do have some extra time outside of work to follow my passions, like writing, what work seems to take the most of is my energy. Granted that’s the deal. I sell them my ability and energy in exchange for money. The problem to me is that in most cases you don’t get to choose how much of your energy you want to sell. Five days out of seven, or 71.4% of your energy, is the going deal. It’s a shit deal. I would love to only sell 50% of my energy in a given week and use the other 50% for the things I’m actually passionate about. What’s more I’d like to choose when in that week my 50% is given. Monday to Wednesday, or do half days every day, or get your 50% done at nights, I see little reason why with today’s tech these options aren’t more readily available.
Anyway, I had all these thoughts on my brain when I got home from work, slumped onto the couch, and chose to see what interesting things the internet had birthed today. I quickly, and fortuitously came across this TED talk by Ricardo Semier, in which he talks about how he and his business had a lot of the same thoughts I did and then, best of all, put them into practice. He even expands on these ideas to, as he deems it, ‘redesign for wisdom’; basically overhauling our current systems, work, education etc. and redesigning them for the world we live in, one where google exists, one where people may choose to sell back their Wednesdays for part of their salary, one where if the works done you get to go home. He’s now on my list of heros. You may have picked up on this already but I think his TED talk is well worth a watch.
Knowing there are influential people out there having the same thoughts I do is encouraging, knowing that their putting these thoughts into practice is momentous. It gives me hope that maybe one day I’ll be able to sell the percentage of energy I want to and then spend the spend the rest of it at the library with some music, a coffee, and my laptop (and some of it watching TV in bed).
What can I say, I’m a dreamer.