Overcoming conditioning

Dec 20, 2004 04:28 · 351 words · 2 minute read

Ever since I graduated from college, which is 10 years ago this month, my jobs have all had a typical Monday through Friday schedule. Even with my last business, Kendermedia, I remember working Monday through Friday.

Once again, I’m self-employed. I’ve realized that there is no good reason for me to work Monday through Friday specifically. The M-F schedule is really built pretty firmly into our society here. But, why do it just because everyone else is?

I do want to pace myself to ensure that I make good, consistent progress. I also want to be sure that I don’t overwork and reduce my productivity and the quality of my output. For that reason, I plan to stick to a roughly 40 hour per week schedule. Though that number is as arbitrary as working M-F, I’ve found over the years that it’s a comfortable number.

I’ve also found that I like 8-hour workdays and two day weekends. I had one position in which I was working four 10-hour days, with three day weekends. A few people I knew were envious of those weekends, and were surprised when I switched to a “normal” 8-hour schedule. My reason was simple: I wanted more time every day to do things other than work. A 10-hour workday just didn’t leave much time for other things.

So, if that’s the case, what’s special about my new work schedule? My work week is Tuesday through Saturday. By having Monday be part of my weekend, I don’t have to shuffle things around whenever I need to take care of something that is only possible during “normal business hours”. Of course, if I do want to get together with friends on a Saturday, I can certainly swap Saturday and Monday that week. Just because I’ve picked a T-S schedule doesn’t mean I’m hopelessly locked in.

My point in all of this is not that my new schedule is cool and you should all be envious. My point is that unconciously going along with “the way it is” restricts your freedom. Don’t let conditioning shape the world against your will.