Personal Hours and Working Time

I read books and yes I do R&D and always feel short of time! How can I spend more time reading a book or doing something else I like? Seems like everyone struggles to manage their time effectively. If we look at core reason, we will find that everyone is struggling to manage the time they spend on themselves. I call this this time Personal Hours. So lets try to understand how can we improve this time…

How long do you work in your office? or I should better ask how much non personal hours constitute in a day out of 24 hours for an average human. When I say non personal hours that means non productive personal hours. Sleep is personal and good for health but we don’t read a book or write a poetry or do anything else during sleep (some gifted people do so in their sleep as well!), this is why I consider it a non productive personal hour.

Here is some analysis…

Activity Hours
Sleep 8 Hours
Work or Office 9 Hours
Travel to Office and Home 2 Hours (this is for me, yours could be the same)
Getting Ready and unwinding 1 Hour
Wastage (what is this?) 1 Hour
Total 21 Hours
Remaining 3 Hours Only!

What the hell you would do in remaining 3 hours! Checking what new your friends posted on Facebook or gossiping about something? Spending time with your friends, kids or parents is all good so lets come back to real point. How to improve this remaining 3 hours…

Few ideas..!

  1. Get a job near to your home to cut on traveling hours (seems not possible for many).
  2. Kill Wastage hours. Now I explain..This is the hour we waste stretching other hours. Means we work over 9 hours, we sleep over 8 hours, we spend unnecessary time watching TV or browsing internet etc…understood?
  3. Reduce work hours (what a novel idea!).

Reduce work hours? This could sound absurd but I am not kidding!. Until few years ago, we had six days working in India. In BPO environment where most companies work for US customer have 5 days/week working. Still in many sectors, 6 day/week working is common. So think if we reduce this to 4.5 hours work in a day. Pure 4 hours working! with half an hour break…

Impact of Reduced Work Hours: 

  1. Increased personal hours
  2. Less mental stress
  3. More jobs!  This seems the most lucrative part; reducing work time to half can potentially double the employment opportunities i.e. less unemployment

Now while writing this I goggled what others are talking about it and stumbled upon few good articles…

8 Hours Day (Link to Wikipedia article)
Working Time (Link to Wikipedia article)

I was surprised to know that work hours were more until a century and few decades before and labors fought to have the work time reduced. Usual work hours were anyway between 10 to 16 hours a day!

Eight Hour Day Banner, Melbourne, 1856 | Source: Wikipedia

I also got to know that many countries are now having reduced work hours. Netherlands is topping all the countries with an average 21 hours working a week (read this). Let me quote from Wikipedia what economists are saying…

“Some economists have recommended moving to a 21 hour standard work week to address problems with unemployment, high carbon emissions, low well-being, entrenched inequalities, overworking, family care, and the general lack of free time. Actual work week lengths have been falling in the developed world.”

Read this and this as well. 21 hours work a week let people work only around 4 hours a day. Isn’t it good?

So what you think now? Are we waiting for a revolution to happen in future? I am quite optimistic. Hope more and more people will talk about it and have major consensus for a change…

I need more time to read books, doing R&D, travelling to places…more time to do the things I love… 🙂

What you would do with your remaining 3 hours…?


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