Labor Day Weekend is upon us—another opportunity to lay in the shade, kick back and enjoy barbecue. After all, that is what holidays are for, right?
For many of us this, Labor Day is the “last hoorah,” the transition day that signals the end of summer and beginning of back to school or work. There is a mental attachment to this holiday which carries the message that fun time is over. It’s time to sharpen our pencils and settle down.
Summer is such fun, and it’s sad to see it go. But it got me thinking of ways to extend it. There has to be a better balance between work and leisure.
I found an interesting post on FourHourWorkWeek.com. The blog is based on the same-titled book by Tim Ferriss. The best-selling author and self-proclaimed “efficiency expert” devotes his time toward helping others get more out of life by streamlining how they work and live.
Ferriss traded in his high-paid, 80-hour a week, Silicon Valley job for a lifestyle most would never dream possible. Now he works around the world with his laptop and mobile phone, and outsources work when he needs it. It has allowed him the time and freedom to pursue his interests in professional dancing, kickboxing and world travel.
On his blog, he is spreading more of the work-cutting gospel by promoting Shane Snow’s new book called Smartcuts. What got my attention was the phrase “strategic laziness.” I have not read Snow’s book and am not sure that I will. But I am fascinated by the concept.
As we collectively “cease from our labor” on Monday, we could benefit by thinking of ways to extend our down time. We all know the benefits of rest and rejuvenation. We would love to have more time to spend with loved ones. But how can we get more of it?
The answers, of course will depend on you. But the basic thing you need to remember is this: Everyone, no matter who they are, has 24 hours in a day—no more and no less. The key is being strategic with how you spend it.
As summer comes to a close and your work or school life speeds up, you would do well to put on your agenda a few ideas to increase your down time. A good place to start is by re-evaluating your habits and priorities. Do you feel you must spend 3 hours in the kitchen every week for Sunday Dinner? Why? Do you have to read your email every morning and night seven days a week? Could you skip one day? Is it really necessary to spend your own time creating a flyer or website? Sometimes we do things out of habit or because we think we have to do it all. But it costs us time that we can never get back—time that could be spent relaxing.
Ask yourself what you can afford to give up and free up more time. That’s what being strategic is all about. Go online and download a few apps that will save you time at work. Delegate some tasks to young people who are naturally wired for work that might take you twice as long to do.
Also, don’t feel guilty about not doing everything yourself. Being lazy is not a bad thing. Use it and add more time and value to your life. Learn to plan your resting time so you’ll be more productive when it is time to work.
Happy Day of Rest from Your Labor!