Here in Germany, the 40 hour workweek is a quasi standard. If you’re “really serious”, you put in even more. But you won’t save the day by using it up.
It’s not about the hours you put in. It’s about how much you can create. Think about the last week. How many hours did you work? How much of it was unnecessary meetings or sitting in front of a problem without solving it? How much did you procrastinate?
I think we can do better than that. We can have solution-focused, brief meetings with few people. We can creatively solve problems by changing our mindset when we get stuck. We can focus more and interrupt less. We can eat more frogs. But we won’t do it by sitting at our desks for 40 hours a week.
Turns out that if you are really trained, you can focus for about 4 hours a day (makes 20 per week). Some stupid tasks don’t need focus, of course. But if you’re doing stupid tasks for 20 hours every week, find a better job. Or learn to code and automate anything you need to do more than once.
By freeing up time in your weekly calendar, you can try new activities outside work. If you do presentations: read books and pay attention to the storytelling. If you design interfaces: play video games and observe how they teach you to play them. If you are a leader: learn sailing or visit a classical concert and get to know a different kind of leadership.
What you bring back is worth more than procrastinating or being stuck at your desk. Let’s kill the 40 hour workweek. Let’s work less and do more.