A few years back I decided to start taking leave from work on Wednesday’s. Saturday and Sundays were anyways off. That’s four days of work every week. It was difficult to manage in the beginning but I tried to stick to it on and off. Now, it’s kind of set. The rule is; if I travel on a work day during the week (not for work though) or if there is a holiday on a weekday, I attend my office on Wednesday to make it even. But if I am not travelling and expect to go for work four days during the week, I skip Wednesday’s for sure. Initially, there was some guilt of not working enough and also the concern of losing out on growth. However, as thing turned out, everything is back to normal. In fact, it seems my efficiency has gone up on other days since I don’t want to give up on the luxury of an additional free day. I chose Wednesday because it falls in between Monday and Friday. So I get two working days before & after. It helps.
When people around me started to notice my Wednesday holiday thing, I found different responses and reactions. Raised eyebrows, appreciation, success, discipline, envy, laziness, etc, etc. Many suggested that I could do this because of the type of work I do (by the way, I am a wealth manager by profession). I don’t think so. There are millions around the world who engage in the same profession as I do and not many are sure they can do this. So, it’s not about being involved in a particular kind of industry or work but the mindset. It’s about one’s own goals, aspirations, growth, money and other priorities in life. I may be losing out on a few things, like a little more money or a little more success. But that’s difficult to measure and even if that be the case, I am good with it. In fact, I consider my decision to be counterproductive as I worked and improvised on a lot of things in order to get an extra holiday every week. I started to think long term, set my business straight, cut bad relationships for short term gains, built a better team and managed my time more efficiently on work days and so on. It’s not about the possibility. It’s about the ‘will’.
Can you do it? Of course, yes. Start straight away. If it doesn’t work, go slow for a few weeks and months, i.e. try once or twice a month. See which day of the week works best for you. You could consider taking Friday’s off to make it three days in a row. I guess, in the beginning, one could start with working a couple of hours more on other days to adjust for an additional holiday. Slowly, things will come back to normal on other days too.
Certain specific jobs and work profile may be challenging but if you intend to achieve this, it is possible. Start with a firm attitude. Become more efficient. Consider to request and opt for flexible timing options from your employer. Consider changing job or industry. Whatever it takes; if you want something, you need to find a way to get through with it. If you think you need more free time for yourself to pursue other things in life, it will make your resolve stronger and make it easy for you to accomplish this goal. An alternative to a full day off is to cut a couple of hours of work every day. For eg. start late or leave early from work. Numerous researches have proved that working more hours doesn’t necessarily give better results. Instead, improve your efficiency.
I didn’t figure out in the beginning of what will I do with one more free day. I allowed myself to sink in to the fact that I have 3 free days every week. I then filled my days with other priorities of my life; to spend more time with family, read more, write more, explore more.
It’s working for me right now. Work is important for me but I don’t want to spend my entire life working in the pursuit of making more money or getting more success. It’s a blind race. No one knows the distance. I have made a choice and I am loving it. What about you? What’s your goal?