What’s Your Ideal Work Day Like?
I was talking to a co-worker about my post vacation blues and he told me I’m probably in the wrong line of work. Fortunately, I already knew that. I’ll be the first one to admit, I’m in it mainly for the money. Just like professional athletes take more money to leave good teams all the time, I chose this career because I knew it would pay very well, I was good at it and I liked it(in that order).
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate my job at all, I actually work for a great company that’s very lenient and has great benefits and competitive pay. My company is probably one of the few that actively encourages their employees to stay fit and walk around and exercise during lunch. I usually play basketball once or twice a week during lunch(now that’s pretty awesome) to stay fit, how many companies would let you do that?
But working for a large company has its drawbacks. I rarely get the sense of accomplishment I do in other aspects of life. There is so much political BS and inefficiency that it makes certain tasks nearly impossible to get done. This is my first and only full time job I’ve ever had so it’s possible other companies are better, but from what people tell me, they’re not.
I don’t like having to depend on other people to get things done. Does that mean I don’t play well with others? I don’t think so considering I had a successful athletic career that allowed me to play Division I college sports. But there is something different about working with others in the corporate environment. Maybe since I don’t have the same passion for my job, as I did with sports, it’s a lot harder to put up with people who are lazy or don’t work very hard.
My Normal Day
In any given day, I find that I probably do a solid 3-4 hours of work. The rest of my time is consumed with helping others, going to meetings and things of that nature. I’m a big believer in the law of diminishing returns. That means that after a certain point, the amount of work you need to put in to get a task done starts to increase. So let’s say I have a task that normally takes 1 hour. If I do it in the beginning of the day, it will take one hour, but if I wait until later on in the day(after 7-8 hours of work) it might take 2 hours.
I feel like I could effectively do my job and get the exact same amount of work done in 4 hours a day. Unfortunately, I don’t think my boss and co-workers would be too happy with me showing up only 4 hours a day. In a corporate environment, your reputation is determined by the quality of your work and people’s impressions of you. I’ve found that the latter is more important.
Take two employees. Employee A shows up early and leaves late, often putting in 10+ hour days. Employee B shows up right on time but ALWAYS leaves on time. They get the exact same amount of work done, but generally employee A will be looked upon as the better employee. That doesn’t make sense to me since I would argue employee B is actually the better employee since he’s more efficient with his time.
My Ideal Day
Even though I don’t make nearly as much working on my blog as I do at my day job, I enjoy it a lot more. I like seeing a correlation between how much work I put in and direct metrics like site visitors, subscribers or revenue. I’m not sure what I’ll be doing in 5-10 years but I’d like to think it will be something where I’m the boss.
I don’t want to retire early, but I would like to semi-retire soon to something that I love like helping people with personal finance, real estate or coaching. All of these jobs could allow me to work 3-4 hours a day and more importantly work for myself. I would use the extra time to take care of my kids, exercise and live life! Trust me, there are plenty of things to do that don’t require a ton of money, only time.
The only problem with the 4 hour workday is that I need the compensation to be equal to my 8 hour workday. I’m not sure how feasible that will be in the near future but as many of my readers know, I am working very hard to build my passive income streams. My goal is to have passive income like real estate, investments, website income, etc to equal half of my day job income. Once that happens, I’ll be ready for my 4 hour workday.
Readers, do you think I’m lazy to only want to work 4 hours a day? What does it matter if you get the same amount of work done or do you like to go above and beyond?
-Harry @ PF ProTags: 4 Hour Work Day, Impression, Law of Diminishing Returns