A calendar with five eight-hour working days and two days of weekend has its origins in the Industrial Revolution, when production in large factories transformed working life. 200 years later our lives are still dictated by this idea, even though the world has changed so much.
Imagine not having the entire country go out for lunch and shopping on weekends. Not having everyone visiting supermarkets after work. No packed public transport because everyone goes to work at the same time. No peak seasons on holiday destinations and airports.
Spreading these things randomly over the week, month and year would optimize capacity of public spaces so much better, which has become extra important in times of pandemic, and it can also be very beneficial for your own life.
I don’t have free time because I don’t have unfree time.
Everybody and everything that had a claim on my time has been uncompromisingly removed from my life.
— Naval (@naval) August 14, 2018
When you try to defy falling into the standardised life it gets really interesting.
I don’t have free time because I don’t have unfree time. I work everyday, but not all day. Just when I feel like it. If you like what you’re doing, you feel like working often. I have weekends nor holidays, I just do nice things when I want and always bring my laptop.
This variety in life is great, no strict schedules. I go to coffee bars, get sun in the park, read books, workout and meet friends or dates whenever I want. And meanwhile I have enough time to cook real food and sleep enough, the two most important things for health.
The conventional working calendar as we use it right now, makes it extremely hard to live healthy and happy, and makes us prone to seek for shortcuts and cheap dopamine. But shortcuts never work in the long run. As a result, depression and obesity are rampant.
Being caught in the system nowadays compromises, for example:
- Nutrition. Crap foods are everywhere, including company lunches, restaurant foods and hotel breakfasts. You can’t be too obsessed to cook your own foods, but it takes time we don’t have anymore.
- Relaxation. Between everything you have to do in a day, it seems like there’s little to no opportunity to just have a life. To just do nothing that requires your attention for a while (yes, watching TV also requires your attention).
- Sleep. We have become too busy to get enough sleep, meaning 8 to 9 hours every day. The alarm goes early to commute to work, and in the evening we go to sleep late. Each weekend, our sleep rhythm gets destroyed again.
- Workouts. Working out requires time and focus, and oftentimes workouts get skipped because we are too busy.
- Family. We need to bring our children to daycare because we are too busy working.
- Posture. Working with a computer requires a good posture to not run into physical problems later. But it’s hard to maintain good posture all day and variety is key.
Working a day job you don’t like, in order to buy things you don’t need to impress people you don’t like. Looking forward to the next weekend or holidays all week in order to “relax” by eating fast food, binge drinking and fucking up sleep rhythm.
No, I don’t think the current system is the best way to balance the load in our valuable lives.