December 3, 2022

The Perfect Week

Most adult lives are fashioned around the ‘working week’. But I’ve been searching for something more holistic.

Whether we work five days or less, in-person or remote, flexible or fixed, the ‘working week’ dominates our routines and dictates our ‘free time’.

Excluding sleep, we usually spend this free time with friends, loved ones, exercising and relaxing, perhaps even indulging in hobbies or side hustles.

But how do we organise that time and juggle everything sustainably? How do we incorporate the unpredictable nature of life yet commit to a preferred routine?

It’s nearly impossible to have a perfect ‘day’ that can be replicated for an entire year. But a week is the smallest, replicable unit of time that can be designed around what matters to us most, whilst being large enough to take into account most variabilities within our predominant routines.

And so the idea came up whilst talking to friends: what makes a perfect week?

Here’s what we came up with:

Full-time work is dying. From 4-day work weeks to remote working options, people are becoming more expectant of a better work-life balance, even if that means taking a hit on salary. Shorter working weeks also mean more time to work on side-hustles, if that’s your thing.

Revisiting hobbies. A lot of us give up on certain interests once we start working full-time. Reconnecting with them can be a source of great fulfilment within our busy adult lives.

Regular travel. As the world becomes more connected, travel is becoming more and more accessible for less. Being able to take a weekend ‘city break’ or even travel whilst working (remote work) is becoming increasingly desired by many.

“Less isn’t laziness. Doing less meaningless work, so that you can focus on things of greater personal importance, is NOT laziness. This is hard for most people to accept, because our culture tends to reward personal sacrifice instead of personal productivity.” — Tim Ferris

More and more organisations are becoming open to these requests in a bid to attract and retaining the best talent, so it’s not unreasonable to expect that employers may be more flexible than you think in providing them for you. Now, there are situations in which this won’t be feasible, but if you don’t ask, you don’t get.

Once I rediscovered my creative interests and juggled them with my medical career, I found myself being a lot closer to my own ‘perfect week’, even if it was at the expense of the ‘normal’ 5-day working week. This might come at the expense of a better salary and retirement, but what’s the point of a happy retirement if it takes a life of misery to get there?

“Retirement is the time in your life when time is no longer money.” — Unknown
Every week, I write about philosophy, self-fulfilment and creativity.
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