Is it possible?
Well I am a firm believer that we can make all of our 8 hour commitments in 4 hours. This off course does not apply for jobs, where 8 hours is just not enough to do your daily tasks and you have to work like mad and even do some extra hours. I will call them “Mad jobs” in my further discussion.
How can this be achieved?
Actually, if you add up all your distractions, your coffee breaks, lunch or snack breaks and the time that you wasted by thinking of something else and not focusing completely to the tasks in front of you, it would probably make up the half of your day. Why is this so? We are off course, no machines that can work for 8 hours straight with 100 percent focus and no breaks. We need those “distractions” so our working pace is sustainable for 8 hours. Even a marathon runner can’t run each day for 8 hours.
Let us flip things upside down. If we need those breaks so we can work for 8 hours we probably don’t need them if we work only 4 hours. If you get up early and focus on your work for the next 4 hours, the majority of your tasks would probably be done by noon. This immediately raises the question what would your boss say if you said to him that you finished all your work in 4 hours. He would probably say something like: “you don’t have enough work if you could finish so fast”. He would probably also quickly find some more work for you. In other words we are all framed in this nine to five routine. We have to work for 8 hours a day, work five days a week and have a steady job. Is all of this really necessary to bring out the best of us? I think not! We need a more dynamic daily routine to achieve that maximum.
The most important thing you have to do to achieve the 4 hour workday is to change your way of thinking. You have to change the way you look at work and goals you set for yourself. You have to reward yourself for completion rather than time inputted. If you say to yourself: “Today I have to work for 8 hours” that will be your goal. On the other side if you say to yourself: “Today I will finish these tasks” that will become your goal. You mustn’t pay yourself by the hour.
If you manage to finish all of your work in 4 hours you will instinctively try to do some more work. Don’t! You have to resist your instinct. If you managed to do all your work in 4 hours don’t punish yourself with more work. Try to do something to treat yourself. Go for a walk. Take some extra time for lunch and enjoy your meal… Whatever you do, just don’t punish yourself with more work.
What about “Mad jobs”?
If you are constantly not able to finish all your daily tasks under 8 hours in normal working pace than you have to much work to do. You might be doing something wrong or it’s just that your boss demands too much. Either way you have to change something. If you don’t take any action and just continue doing so, you will just get burned out. A lot of people are saying: “Oh this is just temporary, only a few more months and my boss will promote me”. And what then? Do you actually believe that after promotion you will have less work? Do you actually believe that after promotion you will be man enough to say NO to your boss? You now have a higher position and have more to lose. So you will probably just suck it up as you have done before.
Why do we live like that?
Since we were kids our parents were washing our brains with a myth, that is described in a few sentences below:
… go to school so you can get good grades
… so you can get into a good college where you get good grades
… so you can get a good job where you can work your way up the ladder
… so you can “suck it up and do your time” at work while you enjoy your life on the evening, weekends and eventually when you retire.
We were brainwashed from our youth on that we have to work 8 hours and in years, we adapted to that way. But you don’t need to. If you set your priorities and organize you can do it in much less time. You should set yourself a goal to finish the majority of daily tasks until noon. Once you will experience that magical feeling when most of your tasks are done, you will be hooked for life.
No money can buy you back the time you spend at your job, so why waste more than it is necessary. Don’t be a prisoner of your job. Break the rules, finish early and enjoy your day.