You can choose not to work very long hours

I’m staying in an Airbnb and my host—who describes himself as a “busy professional”—just came home. It’s 9:20 p.m., so I observed that he got home late. “No no”, he responded, “this is one of my early days!”

Even if you never work on the weekends, working until 9 p.m. or later five days a week (with an early start to the day) is rough. It leaves you with almost no free time during the week, and with little time during the weekend either, because you do have to do laundry, groceries, etc. at some point.

If your work-life “balance” looks like this, I want you to know that it doesn’t have to be this way.

You can work 40 hours a week or less and still

  • feel proud of what you do,
  • have your parents be proud of what you do,
  • make plenty of money,
  • make a positive difference in others’ lives, and
  • challenge yourself intellectually.

Or any of the other criteria that make work satisfying for you.

There are plenty of jobs that will satisfy your criteria and that will allow for a non-crazy work schedule. You can always create your own job! (In other words, become an entrepreneur.)

Even if you know lots of people who routinely work very long days, try to realize that you have a choice. You can work fewer hours—and have a healthier lifestyle—if you want to.


— Peter

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