Day 20: Weekends and work

My roommate has weekends and Tuesday off next year. Having a day in the middle of the week to catch up seems like a huge mental productivity boost, doesn’t it? But as I was having this thought, I realized that it’s not really the “middle” of the week, and that 3 days off to 4 days of work is ridiculously kind, and actually, even 2 days off to 5 days of work is kind. Guys, I know there are productivity gurus who say that most of our time “working” is wasted (see the 4 hour work week and tell me you’re not impressed!) but even all of us on the 9-5 grind aren’t doing so badly.

Of course, I realize few of us are actually only at work for forty hours a week. My parents own three small businesses in one office space, and it’s a service business, so they often take phone or Skype calls at 2AM, either by appointment or emergency, or else they’re meeting with a client who lives three hours away on 11PM on Sunday night, because that’s when the restaurant closes and the manager has time to meet. They’ve always kept their office doors open at least 55 hours a week, and that was back when they had to pick up and drop off kids at two schools every day.

These people are my champions, by the way. But I’m at a conflict because I read a blog post by Gillian Cook called “Ease off that pedal” that addresses how we need to stop glorifying “busy” at the expense of our overall health. It’s an idea which I can totally get behind. But then it becomes difficult to appreciate my parents whose business is only here because they’re always available for all of their clients. They’re not incredibly successful economically, but they’re getting by in a country that doesn’t speak their native language, so the best way to measure their success is by their sacrifice. Or something like that. I’m not sure how to reconcile this yet.

As for me, I’m going into healthcare, but I’m choosing a particular job that says yes, you’re going to work more than 40 hours a week, but we will pay you overtime! And you don’t have to take your work home, besides keeping up with your continuing education credits. This way if I do work weekends I’m getting ahead or something. It’s like bonus time, where it doesn’t matter if I sleep all 48 hours or if I read two novels’ worth of case studies or take my family to the beach– It is still a good week.

How does everyone else manage their workweek?


2 thoughts on “Day 20: Weekends and work

  1. Have a fantastic time – and thanks for the nod. What I was also trying to get at in my post was that busy is not the same as productive. I’m sure you’ll do brilliantly in your chosen field and I’m really looking forward to hearing what you get up to.
    I work in media and work from 9 to 5 Tuesdays to Thursdays, but 9 to midnight on Fridays and 9 to about 9 on Mondays. As a single mom, I’ve had to learn to juggle – I’m still learning and many weeks it feels as if I’m doing that juggling with one hand tied behind my back – ie, not well! I long for more time with my children, more time to paint and draw and more time to get to that bathroom cupboard that desperately needs cleaning out.
    I guess it’s all about doing the very best you can with what you have. That’s why I want to live better, try to slow and do things a little more consciously rather than rushing through it all.
    As you say, the time you get to read, or sleep is so much more enjoyable when you feel like you’ve done your best. You’ll find your balance, but just accept that when you have tough weeks, there’s always going to be another one just ahead that you can go into armed with what you’ve just learned and you can make it better. Be gentle with yourself.

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