In the spring of 2021, I reviewed my budget and my work schedule and came to a big decision. I was going to reduce my workweek to just three days, so I could finally make the most of my time as a full-time traveler.
Working for only three days meant I needed to focus and push through work for 72 hours. But then, I could sleep in for the next four days, go camping or do absolutely nothing at all.
It might not be for everyone, but it's working great for me. Is it the right choice for you? Here's how to find out.
Build Your Savings
The fewer days you work, the more important it is to have fall-back money. Spend some time building your savings ahead of time. It's risky business telling your boss you want to work fewer days and no business is guaranteed survival in a pandemic.
Building your savings makes it easier to leave when a situation isn't working for you. It also opens up the possibility of working part-time, at least for a few months, to see whether you can adjust financially.
Downsize Your Expenses
One of the main reasons people need to work as much as they do is that they genuinely need the money. From raising kids to buying houses and earning degrees—it all adds up. Some expenses are worth the spend and some aren't.
Decide which expenses align with what you want. I gave up a full-sized house, have no interest in kids, and left the corporate ladder behind. I did get a college degree, but I have no student loans and no big, high-interest debt to repay.
Pitch Your Boss
Workers all across America have recognized that there's more to life than clocking in and collecting a paycheck. Yet, companies are still stubborn about relinquishing the upper hand. Even so, you might have a boss with common sense.
If you're a good worker or the role is hard to fill, they'll want to keep you. Try the following:
- Pitch a three-day workweek of 12-hour shifts and recommend a trial period so you can try it out.
- If you don't need the full paycheck, ask if you can work your regular hours for three days per week or find a job that allows it.
Start a Business
When you first start your business, there's a pretty good chance you'll be working a lot more than you do now. It takes a lot of time and effort to build a business. You could end up working every day, so choose something you love.
Once you get your business off the ground, find loyal supporters and establish savings, you can reduce your hours. You can either reduce the work you take on or hire someone else to help out.
Revisit Your Hobbies
Most people start looking forward to retirement from their very first year at work. Some of us start from Day One. As a full-time RVer, I spend a lot of time around retirees and you know what most of them share in common? They are bored out of their minds.
Free time might sound like a great idea until you realize you have more than you can make good use of. Doing nothing can only keep you content for so long. Figure out what else you'd like to do with your time.
Once you downsize your workdays to just three a week, you can sleep in for four. Depending on how you set up your work schedule, you could sleep in every day and work in the afternoon. I should know. That's what I do!
Corporations have conned workers for years into thinking we need to work more days than we get off. I think that's garbage. Forget the four-day workweek. Start asking for THREE!