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Who’s Got Time For Work?!

April 6, 2011

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Photo by zoutedrop

I’ve become very protective of my time. I had to work last weekend, as well as some evenings lately, and realized just how much I value my free time. Eight hours of  work a day (at minimum) – that’s half our waking hours, assuming we sleep for 8 hours. Add to that some time for getting ready for work (I may be paleo, but I’m still a girl…) and a commute for some, and your free time really dwindles – most of us are lucky to get 4 hours of free time a day.

And it seems like the healthier I attempt to be, the more there is I want to do, and the more I cherish my time. Between exercising (the fun and healthy kind, not “chronic cardio”), being outside (usually exercise-related), reading (online and books), blogging, hanging out with friends, cooking, etc. – who has time for work?? And that’s just listing the fun stuff – what about chores, errands, responsibilities…

I definitely strive for good work-life balance. I used to work longer hours, and now I don’t know how I managed. There are just so many non-work things I’m itching to do. I definitely work to live and not the other way around. Ideally, we’d all be working jobs where work = play. But really, what percentage of the population can say that? Look at the PaleoHacks thread, “Do You Have a Boring Office Job?” Something to strive towards, I guess. Or, maybe one day we’ll only have to work a 4 day workweek. I was watching a documentary recently, Waterfront Cities of the World – Helsinki, and apparently a 4 day week is not uncommon in Finland. Some people get Wednesday off, to take care of all the errands and chores they never got around to on the weekend. The Netherlands, among other countries, has also tried implementing a shorter workweek. Any politician that attempts the same here is likely to get my vote. Or what about vacation time? Canada offers a minimum of 10 vacation days plus 9 public holidays = 19 days total – which is actually the lowest out of the countries on that list, along with China. The United States, interestingly, doesn’t even have a statutory minimum, and has 10 public holidays. Check out some of these other countries though:

Country Minimum Vacation Public Holidays Total
Brazil 30 11 41
Lithuania 28 13 41
Finland 30 10 40
France 30 10 40
Russia 28 12 40

Perhaps I should consider finding a job in Finland with a 4 day workweek and 40 days off??  Can we at least get a long weekend sometime between January and April over here?!

I think this post is indicative of me needing to book some vacation time… In the meantime, I’ll continue trying to squeeze as much “living” from my after-work hours as possible. And yay for longer days (of sunlight, not work), and warmer weather ahead. It feels like we’re finally coming out of winter hibernation (here in rainy Vancouver, anyway).

How’s your work-life balance?

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