Reducing My ‘Working’ Hours: Going Part-Time (Part Three)

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Going part-time has resulted in many unexpected benefits for us. And there are times when something has to give, whether it’s work, business or home life. I am really making an effort not to store up big tasks for when I think I’m going to have loads of time. It’s how I managed to write two books in the space of six months with lots of other things going on.

Nevertheless, it seems that in modern society we feel like we’re busier than previous generations. But we’re probably not, we just have more to fill our time with and are overwhelmed by self-perpetuated ‘busyness’. Competitive busyness, in other words, the need to state how busy you’ve been or are, is really unhealthy but I’ve been as guilty of it as the next person, especially when somebody’s asked me what I’ve been up to.

However, I’m learning albeit slowly to care less and not feel the need to appear busy appear exciting, interesting or otherwise. It’s okay not to do a lot in the evenings or justify why I ‘only’ did a crossword, read, wrote or watched a boxset. And without apology instead of trying to please everybody. A well-lived life is also about caring less about the non-important things and more about the things that matter. I am a home bird and that’s okay.

Going Part-Time: Headspace Heaven

I’m also keeping a rolling list of ideas which I add to as soon as one enters my head. I’m trying to away from using my phone too much for this but I have my best ideas when out walking the dog and it’s not practical to stop every five minutes to jot something down in a notebook. The dictation function is also great for recording my ideas then pasting them into a list when I get home. In the words of time management guru David Allen, “your mind is for having ideas not storing them”.[ii]

Going Part-Time: Work-Life Balance?

I have had so many more new ideas since taking a brave pill and going part-time. In addition to Well-Lived Life with Less, I’ve self-published Antics of an Afghan Street Hound. I’m also working to complete a novel I’ve been writing on and off since 2003. Really, there is no better time (or amount of time) than now to finally finish it. I would be foolish not to take advantage of that. I’m now a blogger and working towards becoming a vlogger and podcaster.

For me, there’s more time to read, write, walk the dog, watch films, cook, bake and do crosswords! All the activities I craved when I worked full-time and which make me a nicer person. Of course, there is one major problem. I would find it incredibly difficult to resume a full-time role and feel spoilt by my part-time experience. We know that there will be periods when we both need to work full-time, but hopefully, only during the six months of each year, we intend to be in the UK in the future.

Going Part-Time: Change Is The Law Of Life

Whilst we have had to adapt, I would say that it’s more achievable than you might think. I realized that if I didn’t spend much I wouldn’t need to earn very much. It sounds so obvious, doesn’t it? I wholeheartedly urge anybody who finds themselves with the opportunity to go part-time to give it a shot. Maybe you’ve adapted to your current salary or don’t want to give up certain luxuries, which is entirely fair enough. Or maybe you assume you won’t be able to afford it or have a family to support. I fully appreciate that everybody’s circumstances are different. In my case, it was a well-timed opportunity which I knew may not come around again during my forties. But you’ll be amazed at the opportunities that unfold when you open yourself up to change!

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