“I hope I shall live to see 8 hours a day as a day’s work universally acknowledged and become the law of every nation of the world.”
Samuel Parnell – Father of the 8hour day
Hi Motivation Seekers, how are you? Hope your week went well and you managed to silence your inner critic. If you are still struggling, remember, just baby steps at a time is all it takes to make a difference. Keep your intentions strong and keep making tiny, little changes and eventually you will get there. We are all a work in progress!
Formula for a good life
In NZ this week, Monday is a holiday, we celebrate Labour Day. Way back in 1840, Samuel Parnell (a carpenter), won the right, through the Union movement to an 8 hour day for all workers. He proposed that all workers should have 8 hours to work, 8 hours recreation and 8 hours rest. It sounds like the formula for a good life. If we all managed that, we wouldn’t be stressed, we would be more productive, and we would be healthier.
It seems to be getting harder and harder to achieve that though. Digital technology and our ability to be constantly connected to our phones, laptops, emails etc seem to be getting in the way of that formula. Work emails arrive at all times of the day and night now. Someone I was talking to the other day who is a teacher, said his boss would frequently send emails on a Saturday night and/or right through the weekend. Is anything that urgent, that it can’t possibly wait until work time? Even if you don’t read the email, just seeing it arrive in your in-box is enough to raise the stress levels.
Work reasonable hours at reasonable times.
What should we be doing about all this? I think we need to look back to the suggestions made in 1840! Making sure we work reasonable hours at times that are reasonable to us. That we get enough time off with our families and friends and have the ability to pursue hobbies, interests and exercise. Last but not least, that we have sufficient sleep and time to recharge ourselves.
Is that do-able though in this day and age?
Yes, it’s up to you….you can make it do-able. The very worst time in my life was when I had a demanding Corporate job and young children. I regularly worked 60 – 70 hours a week. I felt sick with guilt about my kids, and I was constantly exhausted, in a highly stressed state and felt very depressed. I felt like life had no meaning and that there was no way out, I felt I could never get off the treadmill. I was the family breadwinner at the time and so I felt I had no choice but to keep doing what I was already doing. I did get out eventually – when I was made redundant. That was the best thing that ever happened to me, as it was a turning point. It made me look at my life and discover what was important to me, what my values were and how I wanted to be living my life. What changed was that I changed.
Change old patterns and beliefs
That’s what it takes, an ability to change old patterns and beliefs, a vision of how you want your life to be along with clear values and a plan to get you started. You start by working on the stuff that you can control and take small steps to bring about change in those areas. Your challenge this week is to get started on your great formula for life – 8 hours work, 8 hours recreation and 8 hours rest. What needs to change to achieve this? What small steps can you take this week? Please contact me click here if you want any help with this. Have a brilliant week and for those in NZ have a lovely day off doing what you love with those you love most.