For those who don’t know, I only work 4 days a week.
That’s right, I’m technically a part-timer. Every weekend is a long weekend for me. And I fricken’ LOVE IT.
People usually ask me what I do on my days off (which are Fridays). I call these days “Freedom Fridays” because I’m free to do whatever I want, at any old time. I usually respond by telling them all the things I’m ‘working on’ – almost to justify to myself that I’m making best use of this gift of time.
When I first set out to reduce my hours of employment, the intention was for Mark and I to start a business. We didn’t have one specific idea, but loads of ideas. The plan was for me to go freelance, so I could have greater control of my hours and time, so I could start exploring these ideas.
Instead of going down the freelance path, I ended up staying in the Social Media & PR team at Three UK, but reducing my time there to 3 days per week. In March I joined the Brand team, and increased by time back up to 4 days. And it’s actually the perfect balance.
A typical Freedom Friday
My typical Freedom Friday consists of a lie-in (that’s British for sleeping in). I usually wake up around 8am, and read some non-fiction for 1-2 hours in bed. I then get up to make a decaf coffee and do my banking or take care of errands. It’s really nice to not need to book time off of work just to run your errands for a change.
I then usually make lunch and watch Homes Under the Hammer whilst I eat.
After lunch, I usually plug away at a project for a few hours. That can be anything from analysing our Airbnb revenue, to researching a topic area for one of our business ideas, or writing blogposts.
I try to go for a run in the afternoon, just to get some fresh air. If I get the chance, I’ll hang out at Kahaila, this cool community cafe on Brick Lane. I’ll order a decaf flat white with soy, and just read for a few hours.
Some Freedom Fridays I just straight-up skive for the day, meeting friends for lunch or getting my hair done. I’m not going to lie, it’s a pretty decent existence.
The brilliant thing about working 4 days a week is the clarity of mind you get from having just that extra day to think and reflect on your life, and look after yourself. I rarely get stressed anymore, I have the time I need to sort my life out. My weekends aren’t rushed, I have time to do things rather than just spend the weekend trying to recover from the manic week that just passed.
In terms of money, you do get a reduced pay. But there’s an infinite amount of money in the world, and only a finite amount of time. I’d much rather trade a little bit of money for a significant period of time. To me there’s no risk, time is greater than money.
And honestly, reducing my working hours is the best career move I’ve ever made. I’m so much happier now because I enjoy the time I spend at work. Everyone should have the gift of sufficient distance and time from work. I throughly believe we are all better people because of that gift of time.