Work less. For now, it’s just a dream, but I’m already working on it. I’ve been trying to show (myself) that living differently is possible for a long time. So I think I am not on the wrong track at all, but I still have a long way to go.
In my life, this freedom is manifested in four pillars:
- I do not depend on third parties: bank, company, country, or government.
- I have total geographical freedom: I work with an Internet connection, although it is true that having two girls does not leave room for much improvisation.
- I make a good living: Learning professionally and culturally, living in many countries.
- I live pleasantly, without frills.
But above all, I work too hard. It is something that I am already beginning to correct, although I still have a way to go.
Join me towards slow work.
Something ubiquitous for experienced workers
First, I am afraid that this concept is only for the lucky ones, usually from the western world. If you don’t have a job, I’m sure you have other things that are far more important and distressing.
I know many quite successful people in the professional field who now want to work less.
What’s more, they are willing to earn less money if they see a substantial improvement in their quality of life! 7
What does Slow Work mean?
Slow Work means working slowly.
This movement advocates working focused on a single task and avoiding distractions to perform and enjoy your work and live more peacefully.
WHY IS SLOW WORK GAINING STRENGTH?
- Because it’s not cool to be a millionaire if you don’t have time to enjoy life
- Because you want to enjoy your children, whatever the cost
- Because you want time for yourself, for example, to develop new skills or to re-enjoy a great passion, something forgotten. I have a pending account with Jazz.
- Because working 60 hours a week wears out even the most motivated
- Because health is a resource that cannot be played with
- Because waiting another 25 years before enjoying retiree life is a hard thing to swallow.
- Because if we continue like this, there will be no retirement for everyone so, maybe, we will never enjoy life.
- Because maybe it is a way to distribute wealth among all
So a bit of Carpe Diem would not hurt to live better.
Is living differently possible?
(Self) employment systems are not a business, and you are going to realize now that if you want more time for yourself and yours, you will have to make changes to your own business: being essential is a big problem.
If you are an new employee, you have to suffer the tyranny of your company and that of your boss.
- You will never be able to go further than 50 km from the headquarters of your work.
- You will not be able to use your time to build something of your own, but your boss (that incompetent) will always do your work so that he can charge a better variable.
That is why he tries to bet on teleworking and begins to think of a plan B to solve this problem three years from now.
Plan B is to set up a blog thinking about helping a group and reaching that Minimum Viable Audience that will allow you to start making a living together with this online community.
If you sell new an hour of your time as a Freelancer or with a Liberal Profession, you will know well that you cannot bill: lousy business if you are not present. In a sole proprietorship, it is an alienation that ends up being quite heavy.
As a knowledge worker, the escape route for you is to sell digital knowledge products. Yes, it is a system that scales and complements perfectly with the traditional sale of services, where you will also have to innovate, thinking above all about the sale of productized services.
Have an independent system
Remember that you need a business, not a self-employment system. You want to set up a system that works without you, and how managing employees is also a headache, I would recommend you go for the one-person multinational model.
This is my model:
- You do not depend on investors
- You don’t rely on your employees
GENERATE WEALTH FOR OTHER FREELANCERS
You depend on other freelancers with whom you ally to grow your business. In my case, Adolfo and Graciela are an integral part of this project. Now I am trying to integrate new collaborators who reinforce this network.
It is a team, but always respecting the freedom of the individual. I want them in my project because it compensates them and has a good time. And if they find something better, I’ll be very happy for them.
I don’t want to own people in my business (so common in the twisted spirit of many managers and middle managers) who spend their time in internal wars to gain more power. More pasta. What an incomprehensible way to perform!
EXTERNAL PARTNERS GIVE YOU MORE FREEDOM
If you are at the head of a thriving online community, educate it as soon as possible that you are not the only active member of the project. Otherwise, you will have to suffer the tyranny of your readers. They will always ask for your presence for everything.
And you alienate yourself again with a “stakeholder”.
My blogger friend (successful), I congratulate you for setting up a great online community from scratch. Congratulations indeed. I know exactly how hard it is.
Now, don’t be blind. You must learn to delegate, to trust others to continue growing your project; you must stop working on the day-to-day of your project to work on the development of your project. They are two different things. But, of course, this assumes that you can define processes and outsource them to third parties.
Explain to me how you do it if you sell services as people buy for your brand (that is, if you are not in the sales phase, they will not buy from you). If you also deliver these services yourself, you can’t get out of the way either as a craftsman.
They are expensive for buyers who have never devirtualized you; they cannot be bought online or delivered well 100% in the cloud.
And believe me, it is not natural for many of us who have started a micro business from scratch.
The fear of losing control and the unjustified excuse of a lower quality are taking you away from your ideal of life: Slow Work… Life Up!
Living differently is possible.
How to live the Slow Work movement
These are the five steps to take advantage of slow work:
- PLAN YOUR TASKS
One of the best ways to work calmly is to know what you have to do.
If you have a lot of tasks and you don’t even have them organized, it is tough for you to progress.
Also, which one to start with?
- DO THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS FIRST
Start with what is most important.
Many times we get carried away by urgency. Others for what we feel like …
Classify the tasks according to their urgency and importance and order them into four quadrants:
- Important and urgent: do them as soon as possible.
- Important and not urgent: plan them for later.
- Urgent and not necessary: delegate them.
- Not urgent and not important: delete them.
It is what is known as the Eisenhower matrix.
- AVOID SPEED AND MULTITASKING
One of the great evils of our world is haste.
From the time the alarm goes off until we go to bed, we run everywhere: to the shower, to breakfast, to work, to pick up the children, to eat, to work again… It is exhausting.
We believe that speed makes us more efficient, but it makes us inefficient and stressed workers.
Closely linked to speed is multitasking. We believe we can do many things at the same time.
And yes, we can listen to music and work or cook and talk with our wives, but we cannot write an email, make a call, and answer WhatsApp.
We’re so over-stimulated with notifications that we think we’re wasting time if we don’t attend to 27 things simultaneously.
Focus on a single task and watch your productivity skyrocket.
- TAKE SCHEDULED BREAKS
There’s the Pomodoro technique, school recess, and a cigarette break.
Use the one you want, preferably the first or a similar one. But rest.
You are not a robot that can work 24 hours a day without a break.
You are a person, and you need to rest to perform in the medium term.
Working is not a sprint but a long-distance race.
Once you finish your workday, disconnect. Altogether.
Spend time with your family, your friends, and yourself. Enjoy your hobbies, do sports or do errands.
The point is that you change your environment (primarily if you work at home) and your activity.
You will see how much more productive you are the next day.
Less work + Stable income = Higher quality of life
If you want to bet on Slow Working, you will have to work on it, and for now, your main challenge is to reduce your dependence on your business operations.
Selling digital products is undoubtedly the best way to leverage your business without losing its essence. It is a scalable business model that also reduces the effects of the ups and downs so standard in micro-businesses.
I am an expert in selling digital products on the Internet.
I hope to see you very soon on this path, enjoying a few days of relaxation with your family and seeing how the purchase notices of your digital products are paying you for your vacations.
Yes, living differently is possible. But you have to work at it.