Leo, of ZenHabits, knocks one out of the park again with his latest contribution at LifeHack.org. Minimize Work: Cut Your Work Week in Half in 6 Steps. Thanks Leo! His six step process is well thought out, complete, difficult, and I believe well worth an attempt (to one degree or another.) In a nut shell –
1. Become super valuable. If you’re not already one of the top performers in your company, or an expert or extremely knowledgeable in a valuable area, this will be your first priority. You must become extremely valuable.
- My first thought is that this is easier in highly technical fields, Database Administration, Network Infrastructure Management, Website Maintenance. But, really, all this means is that you have developed a skill that others value, to a high level.
2. Work for yourself. Once you’re super valuable, you’ve got what it takes to quit your job. Why give all this value to a company when you could be giving it to yourself? Cut out the middleman and hire out your services directly.
- Leo, also gives an interim step, which is to build a side business. That’s my particular take, having made myself more valuable at work lately, I have less worry time after work and can devote more time to the things that matter to me; writing (with a subset of blogging), Aikido and spiritual study. The first two lead to income, the third is just a good idea.
3. Raise your rates. In order to support your lifestyle on half your work week, you’ll need to make the same (or more) money while working fewer hours.
- Your increased rates should map to the increased value of step 1.
4. Know your biggest ROI tasks. Which are the tasks that will really make you money, that will make a name for you, that will give you the most bang for your buck?
- This is part of the 80/20 rule now popular in self-organization. In this particular usage – 80% of your profits come from 20% of your tasks.
5. Set your hours. OK, you’ve done a lot of work to get to this step, but you’re now at that beautiful stage where you can control your work week.
- Whee! This is part of the true failing of the modern work paradigm. It is simply a fact that different people have different bio-rhythms and are more productive at different times.
6. Focus. OK, you’ve set your dream work week, and you know what tasks you should be doing during those hours (your MITs), and you’ve set a pay rate that’s high enough to support you financially. Now you just need to do the MITs within the hours you set.
- If you want to get all your money making done in half the time there is no way around this step.
One thing to keep in mind about the above plan is this – Do you really want the type of work life it entails. You may not. I, myself, would love this kind of life. But, whether such a plan is for you or not, Leo has done a grand job of laying out a very clear way to get there.