Two Hours

This post had me do a lot of thinking last week. Click (it opens in a new window), read, then go on with this post.

Doesn't it sound ideal? Only working 2 hours a day? With the whole rest of the day free to do whatever takes your fancy?

I've always said that if you're lazy, it's essential that you're organized - and the more I thought about it, the more that belief fits into the two-hour work day concept.

Take a look at what she's saying - you plan ahead, you focus completely on the work at hand for two hours (no fiddling around with other things, no multitasking distractions, no spreading jobs out over hours), get through it at a time when you're at your most productive (early morning for me), and then you're done. Rest of the day to fart around at will or tackle all those things you wish you could get to but never do.

Turning that one back a bit - I started thinking: how much time would I need if I packed everything I do in a day into a limited period? If I really got cracking on a job instead of filling in the required hours between 7:30 and 4, interspersed with random tasks, checking email, browsing online and getting up to find coffee? And you know what? It's ENTIRELY POSSIBLE to do this!

OK - there's something else I read last week about work expanding to fill the available time. And that's equally true, provided you give it available time. If you only give it two hours a day then that's what you'll do - and no more. No superhuman efforts at overtime, running on adrenalin and coffee but not much else. No accepting other people's jobs because you're an easy target. No dropping one thing to work on another because someone else forgot to do it. You make your list, you stick to it, you get it done. Finished and klaar, as we say in SAfrica.

(The above paragraph kinda ties into a whinge on companies who milk you for all you've got instead of looking after their staff - who expect more than you can actually give them by handing over your entire life and all your waking hours - and who are actually doing themselves more damage than good in the long run by treating staff as robots in the assembly line. Also read somewhere or other last week out in cyberspace - but for the life of me can't remember where.)

But what if you're doing the daily grind and have to work set hours? Surely this whole two-hour work thing is just pie in the sky?

Not necessarily. Like I said, my first two hours of the day are the most productive anyway - so why not simply ignore all other stuff and focus on what you've planned for that day, power through it - and then have the rest of the day available for other things you've been meaning to get to? Make it known that for that period of time you will take no calls, no emails, no "quick do this" jobs - that time is yours and it's bloody well sacred. That could work, right?

Of course this slots very nicely into my Pending post recently - working a two hour day would allow me to get to an awful lot of stuff on that list of want-to's, and probably give me a push in the right direction to sort out some of the issues constantly bugging me in the background that I don't have time to manage. Provided, of course, that my time truly is my own and I'm not owned by others. Which isn't exactly the case when you're One of Many.

Nonetheless, it's got me thinking. Re-evaluating effort vs achievement and how I spend my hours each day.

I'll be keeping my eye on that particular blogger to see how she manages her two-hour working day, and whether she gets it right.

Meantime I have some plotting of my own to accomplish.