How is it the whole world manages to require eight hours a day to do their work? Why does every industry require the same allotted time to get things done?
The 9 to 5 was actually introduced by Henry Ford in 1922 to ease labour unrest, apparently the working day used to be longer and harder.
I am not sure what your day consists of, but in mine I rush through my day constantly checking my phone for the latest bit of interruption in the form of email or worse, some social announcement that someone has had another really bad day and is desperately seeking another night in oblivion via a bottle of vino. I often think is this what life is meant to be about?
Back then I found this hard to believe but after working with incredibly successful individuals I am now inclined to agree that it is possible.
A section of the book really got under my skin. How much of my daily work could I get done by 11:00 am if I really concentrated and didn’t get interrupted.
Quite simply put, the answer is a lot. If you have ever worked from home you should know the feeling of a seriously productive day.
When I started to take note of the interruptions that I had when I had a shitty day or a busy day, I realised that it wasn’t the workload that was bothering me, it was the constant interruptions that cost me my attention and cost time to get back on task.
A lot of these interruptions came in the form of email and I have since decided that emails are the devil’s work. All someone has to do is have a thought, write that thought or question in an email ,usually because they are feeling “productive” and send it to me.
Right there, that person just fucked me out of an hour of my time.
After sitting up and taking notice I decided to analyse my time. I spend a lot of time driving, my business is situated on one side of England and my daughter is on the other, my home is in the middle. It is basically shit.
I worked out that I spend three hours a day in the car and before you say that isn’t so bad, let’s work what that means over a year:
3 hours a day for 5 days = 15 | 15 hours a week x 4 = 60 hours a month | 60 hours x 12 = 720 hours a year
There are eight working hours in a day so let’s get back to how many working days I spend in my motor.
720 / 8 = 90.
So I am sat with the calculator staring in disbelief. This is the guy that never has anytime for him and I am sat looking at three fucking months on the old LED screen.
That is just the three hours a day I spend in my car, so I started noticing how much time emails or requests and questions in emails cost me in time. It is on average about two hours a day, now I won’t bore you with the math this time but basically it is sixty working days a year or another two months. Remember folks this is not directly related to my role, it is just bullshit email!.
As I am sat in total disbelief my head goes into lateral thinking mode “I work from home and put the auto response on my email to say if it’s urgent, call me. Then I can take 5 working months off a year!?”.
The point to all this really is that the world we live in, bores the hell out of me. The rigid schedule basically means we find ways to fill that time by interrupting others with nonsense and in return they do it to us, causing work for works sake as Ferris put it.
List the important stuff you need to do, turn off your phone and your email (trust me you will not die) and do it first thing in the morning.
Then look up, breath in and see what is going on around you. Life is not just weekends, it is everyday. When your work is done, fill it with wonder and if your job will not allow you this flexibility, maybe it is time to look for another job.