Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Take Back Your Time Day: Come Back to the Table!

Today (Oct. 24) is Take Back Your Time Day, so designated because it's the last day of the year we would work if we worked the same number of days that Europeans and other enlightened societies work. That's right, Americans work 9 weeks longer than much of the rest of the developed world. No wonder we have such terrible stress issues. No wonder our stress causes such poor health, that no amount of pills, surgical procedures or medical strategies can reverse. We're literally working ourselves to death.

Our theme for this year's Take Back Your Time Day is "Come Back to the Table." Gatherings with friends and family are on the decline, and these are chief sources of happiness, fun and relaxation — better than any pills! So have dinner with your family, have a potluck with friends, or invite people over to play cards. Have a discussion in a cafe or drag out the ping pong table. You DO need a table, but those are fairly easy to come by!

And think about how you can reduce your working hours. From Slow Is Beautiful:

"One way to fight the workplace's suasion is to give people opportunities to feel cared for outside of the office. People must have a variety of involvements that contribute to their well-being, particularly to their sense of identity and sense of worth. That's one big reason why we must reduce our workloads. When we put in such long hours, we can't become involved in anthing else."

In Chapter 9, titled "Slow Is Beautiful," I detail a number of strategies for slowing down and taking back your time. Much of this is psychological: Once you begin to focus on how you can slow down, you find your subconscious naturally steering you in the right direction.

For more on Take Back Your Time Day and John de Graaf's work, click here. See also a book I contributed to (which John edited), Take Back Your Time. Click here to order.

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