Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Work it Wednesday: 20 hour work week?

My husband send me this CNN article today about the 20 hour work week. I am sure he sent it to me because I regularly challenge the 40 hour work week, the 9-5, the must sit at a cubicle but be really productive mindset.

I challenge those work norms because I have a strong dislike for them (and because I don't think they are always actually good). Yet I've spent most of my 20s working at a desk, clocking in for a 9-5. I've had some creative room, some freedom; but most of the time has been under the mindset of work gets done between certain hours, in a certain windowless room. Not my thing.

I've always asked, "If I can get work done in less time at the same quality (or better) do I have to work until 5?" or "If I work best and find the ability to be creative by breaking up my day or working different hours, is that ok?" I get it, that has been the way things get done. But maybe it isn't anymore. Maybe it isn't the best for everyone. Obviously some positions require it - working a front desk, answering a phone during open hours, etc. But many don't. So why is it often a must?

All that to say, I loved the article and think there are some great things to pull from it.

"Strictly adhering to the new routine -- observing technology fasts and ignoring out-of-hours emails -- recharged the New Yorker's frazzled psyche as he was able to spend time with his family, get out of the city, and eat well, but also ensured that his reduced working hours were put to good use."

In this season there are some challenging parts to my schedule but I have the freedom to set my own pace for about 1/2 of my work week. I have a new space at home to work that has lots of natural light and good vibes. I can get so much done when I write out my list and knock things out. And it gives me more energy. Less time - more accomplished - more life giving.

"In the U.S. our identities are shaped around two things; being workers and consumers. It's about opening up little spaces for creativity and free time that will help you to go in a new direction."


  Beyond my ideals for a creative conducive work week that allows long weekends, flexibility, less stress and more joy; this is a good reminder to evaluate why we do what we do and if it's working. My husband and I do this a lot. Questions like:
What is a healthy rhythm? 
When do we need to disconnect? 
Where do we want to live where cost of living and lifestyle align with our desires? 
How do we make the most with what we've got to live a healthy life that speaks of our values? 
Is our identity rooted in the right things/where we want it to be?

We have to ask these, and ask them often. 

While there are some things we wish were different, I am thankful for this season. I am thankful for my custom desk to fit our small home (thanks to my handy husband). I am thankful for the ability, financial margin, encouragement and space to pursue creativity, leadership alongside my husband with our Young Adult Ministry and a different pace. But now the choice is more so on me to not work when I shouldn't and stick to my pace! This is definitely an identity struggle for me. I am working at that piece of me in this season. God keeps, continually, nudging me back when I get off track and fret over what I "should" be doing, what looks "important" and what is "enough".

So.. most of us have some level of "have to" with our work. Whatever freedom or seemingly lack there of you have, find room for: passion, health, joy and what matters most. We can all make shifts. 

Dream, get creative,  live the life you are made for!

It is worth it. 
I don't know what lies ahead for me but I am saying yes in the present, fighting my identity struggle and making sure I'm not all about the "shoulds".

Oh, here's my new work space!

I don't have a dog.. I was dog sitting. But I wish I had a work buddy like London. 

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