|Just Your Typical Pre-Work Morning Dance Party|
It was not that I no longer wanted to have a fulfilling career or stay fit and happily married, it was just that I was determined to find a way to do all those things in a way that honored and prioritized my relationship with my family, which now also includes my son, and myself.
Everyone I know is striving to find that balance, and for each of us it is different. Some of my friends have managed to raise beautiful, thriving children while managing breathtakingly BIG jobs. Others have chosen to stay home with their kids, some becoming momtrepreuners, others integral members of their schools and community.
For me the keystone to any success I have had in balancing life, career, kids and self has been a four-day work week. For the last five years, and through three different jobs, I have negotiated to work Monday through Thursday, with every Friday off. When I am at work, I crank and do whatever it takes to get the job done. But come Friday, I spend the morning doing my own thing, and the afternoon with my kids. Then we have a normal family weekend.
This schedule has kept me sane, in so many ways. I have a guaranteed few hours of personal choice every week (see my first post ever), and with a three day weekend every week, I rarely feel burned out in the way that I used to when I worked full time. Because of this, I know I am much more efficient on the days I am working. For some time, I have been confident that the four day work week is the perfect balance for me in terms of allowing me to both really do my job and also really be present as a parent. My hunch was borne out in the following NYT Article, which I have excerpted below because I feel like this issue of quality not quantity is so critical to being able to create balance in our lives:
..... from May through October, we switch to a four-day workweek. And not 40 hours crammed into four days, but 32 hours comfortably fit into four days. We don’t work the same amount of time, we work less.
Most staff workers take Fridays off, but some choose a different day. Nearly all of us enjoy three-day weekends. Work ends Thursday, the weekend starts Friday, and work starts back up on Monday.
The benefits of a six-month schedule with three-day weekends are obvious. But there’s one surprising effect of the changed schedule: better work gets done in four days than in five.
When there’s less time to work, you waste less time. When you have a compressed workweek, you tend to focus on what’s important. Constraining time encourages quality time.
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