Have you ever wondered where the 40-hour workweek came from? Maybe you paid more attention in history class than me but I had to look it up. A Google search taught me that it was the result of a protest against unfair working conditions during the industrial revolution. While learning this made me appreciate our current working conditions a little bit more, it also made me think that a 100-year-old standard is probably in need of an update. Here’s a handful of reasons why I think so:
1. We have access to technology that makes everything we do exceptionally efficient. Why not take advantage of the time it saves us instead of always doing more?
2. We are working longer hours that our ancestors did. Hunter-gatherers spent time working and playing in inverse proportion to what we do now (our workweek was their weekend). Why are we working so much harder to survive than they did?
3. We are leading unhealthy lives that cause us to develop heart-disease, depression, stress and anxiety. Isn’t rest supposed to be the best medicine?
4. We are tearing the world apart by rushing around every day wheeling, dealing, and consuming. What kind of positive change could we create if we worked and consumed just a little bit less than we do now?
5. We are not going to live forever. In fact, some of us might live significantly less than that. What if we spent less time working to pay the bills and more time celebrating the beauty of living?
I understand that working less won’t be possible for everyone right away but it’s something we could all aspire to. Who knows, maybe we’re all just a few small changes away from being a little bit happier, a little bit more peaceful, a little bit easier on the planet.
What about you? Would working less make a difference in your life? Let me know what you think in the comments!
PPS I’ll be sharing tips and ideas about how to reduce expenses, get out of debt and work less in upcoming posts. You can subscribe to the blog by email if you don’t want to miss them!