If you read this post, you know that I’m currently finding major motivation from Tim Ferriss’s The 4-Hour Work Week. And while some of his suggestions are too intense, there are several that have made lasting impacts on my life (hence why it’s on that book list). Today, I wanted to share one that I haven’t stopped thinking about.
In the book, Ferriss talks about ways to limit your working hours so that you have more time to do what you actually like to do. He gives strategies to decrease hours significantly, all in the name of living out your hobbies, or passions. Which sounds great, right?! Well, as I read this chapter of the book, something dawned on me in a somewhat depressing way… What would I actually do with my life if I was only working 4 hours a week?
The thought of less work has always sounded appealing, but as I sat there stumped, I realized I had zero idea what I would actually do. I wrap so much of my worth into my work, my salary, my busy schedule, that finding something to replace that worth seemed impossible.
Sure, waking up late, working out, cooking a real lunch, and then having all the time to watch TV sounds great, but I know I’d get bored after a day. I like to travel, but I love being home even more, so I wouldn’t want to jet set forever. Volunteer work sounds great, but what would keep me interested forever?
I’ve been slowly gathering intel on when in my life I feel fulfilled—even while working—to try and narrow down what I’d do if I magically hit a 4-hour work week. This far, I’ve realized a few things:
- I enjoy contributing to the household income. Being able to support myself is very important to me, so I’d want whatever I was doing for those 4 hours to accomplish this. If it didn’t hit my goal, I’d need my passion project to create income.
- I thrive when helping people. When a client is happy with work, I beam. When a friend loves their birthday present, I’m ecstatic. When I help a friend with a resume, I feel great. I’d want to incorporate this.
- I love animals. I knew this about myself, but when I stopped and thought about what truly pulls at my heartstrings, it’s anything negative that has to do with animals. If I were to have all the free time in the world (or close to it), I think involving animals would keep me passionate about it.
I’m still not sure exactly what my days would look like (and I’m definitely not able to only work 4 hours a week…yet), but I feel better knowing there are actually things I’m passionate about (outside of work).
Even if you aren’t trying the Tim Ferriss method—or currently don’t work—I think the practice of figuring out what you actually like to do is invaluable. It’s made me realize that I could find worth outside of my computer—plus, I learned a few things about myself along the way.
What would you do if you were only working 4 hours a week?