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BE MORE PRODUCTIVE. SHORTEN THE WORKWEEK.

Longing for work-life balance and questioning the corporate lifestyle, had raised my awareness of new trends and different approaches on the topic. The article “Be More Productive. Take Time Off.” by Jason Fried, about unconventional and ground breaking working schedules, inspired and surprised me.

As founder of his company, 37signals, and whilst experimenting with innovative processes, he found that better work got done rather in four days than in five. With less time to work, time was less wasted. He concluded that when you have a shorter workweek, you tend to focus on what’s important. “Constraining time encourages quality time”, he claims.

Basically, if you focus less on respecting traditional office hours, and focus more on respecting your personal boundaries, your mental capacities and physical abilities, it benefits not only your employer in terms of productivity, but your own personal development and your work-life balance as well. Following his ideas led me to his TEDx talk filmed at TEDxMidWest about his radical theory of working.

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THE CORPORATE LIFESTYLE

Before all of this, I  used to be a Marketing and Events Advisor for an international company in the automotive branch. Just like everyone else in the industry, I felt passionate about my job. Passionate. Don’t you just hate it when people say that? Admit it, it’s lame. By the way, if I ever feel passionate about something,

it’s gonna be life.

That job used to be pretty amazing and my employer always treated me in a proper and correct manner. I was kind of a workaholic back then. Even now, one of my biggest struggles in life and work is knowing when to turn off my engine. Still, the first feeling when I left, was one of great relief.

The problem wasn’t my good will or my drive to make things happen. By the end of 2012, roughly ¾ out of the original marketing budgets, were no longer accorded to our local department in favor of the larger markets. A logical strategy, only as a “passionate marketeer” I was left behind to take care of the bullshit jobs and however the creative efforts you made and how they contributed to the overall progress and functioning of your organization, they became negligible.

So why do my best?

In times of prosperity and opportunity,  working up to 60 hours per week and having no private life, didn’t bother me at all. I was even incredibly grateful and felt spoiled that I had the chance to express my creativity in this exciting marketing function. But when times changed, and there was no more room for creativity, even 40 hours a week became too much. The typical ailments came to the surface. Suddenly the daily commute bottled me up and I started loathing the island, the office walls, the lack of a social life and the little prospect the job provided.

In the end, the corporate life left me wondering about personal development, significance and a framework that would allow me to determine when, where and how I worked.

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HOW IT ALL STARTED BACK IN 2012

That’s right, all the way back to 2012. Yes, that’s two years ago. That’s how long it took me to get from there to here. And trust me, that’s a long and long and… very long time to keep on going where you think you’re going.

I spent months working on business plans, listening to other people’s advice, feeling insecure, making no money, going from idea to idea, workshop to workshop, webinar after webinar… Only to end up taking on a full time position for a job I no longer aspired and in an industry I disliked. Imagine how I felt… nay, not very promising indeed.

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