It’s Time To Work Less

Don’t tell me if your life hasn’t been affected by it.

The world has changed. The pandemic has taught us one big lesson in life – uncertainty is the norm, expect the unexpected.

We’ve seen people’s lives turn upside down in a split second. All of sudden, we realise, chasing money is not the be-all and end-all. Family is more important.

A typical 9 to 5 job, with full time hours 5 days a week, plus a two-way commute, constitutes a large portion of our everyday life. We are so stressed out and so time-poor during weekdays that we try to cram many activities into weekends just to make up the missing opportunities, which can cause another stress-induced problem. If you walk into any chemist, the largest displayed items you will see on the shelves or behind the pharmacist counter are probably some pain relief or antidepressant medicine. Surprised?

Increasingly, more and more companies are creating a family-friendly workplace. They encourage their employees to have work-life balance by offering flexible hours or work from home or leave without pay options etc. But overtime is still commonplace. Not getting paid for it is also normal since most pay these days is written as a package which includes all additional hours worked going forward. Very smart!

Instead of relaxing, taking it easy, doing what we love to do in our spare time (if we’re lucky to have one), we take up a treadmill of chores that feels like an obligation. Then it becomes a vicious circle. At the end of the day, we don’t rest long enough. Life is just too busy.

Is it time for a change?

Interestingly, Spain has announced that it will trial a 4 day work week (which equates to 32 hours per week) over 3 years. What about money? Well, it’s good to know that workers’ pay will not be cut under the scheme as the Spanish government will subsidise the difference in salary. Imagine if the project is proved to be successful, it can revolutionise the so-called work life in many countries if they also follow suit.

Is it time to get out of the rat race?

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about retirement. The first question that popped up in my head is, Can I afford it? The second question is, Am I too young to retire?

The idea of going back to the corporate world has lost its appeal. The attractiveness of those white-collar types of jobs is waning. After a 3 decade career in various high-profile companies, I’m done. While I will never say never, it’s true that with each passing day, I’m gravitating more and more towards my real calling, which is something I was born to do.

Is it time for action?

It’s quite scary to walk away from the comfort zone and venture into the path that is transformative and life-changing. It sounds exciting but I’m not kidding myself, the road ahead is very much like uncharted territory. Do I need a long answer, a list of reasoning so that I feel safe to dive into the unknown?

Think about it, you only live once. My mind is made up…

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