If We Only Had 4 Hours A Day To Work, How Would We Spend It?

How We Work Is Changing Because Of Technology & We Will Have More Time On Our Hands

There will come a day when we will only work four hours daily. We may already be in that situation, only pretending to work for eight hours a day to appease our boss needs to see us do so. In most jobs that require us to do work online, our work is usually completed by the middle of the day.


Bureaucracy, endless meetings, time checking our email inbox, and office banter during lunch tend to take up the rest of the workday. The average American worker spends more time pretending to work and appearing productive than they do actually working. Most of us get paid to be bored.


There are restrictions on how we work. We have to be productive members of our teams, not because they impose total concentration and attention during work hours, but because the system of work right now is all about appearances.


In most situations, we can’t leave the office and go home once all of our tasks are complete. This could come at the cost of losing our pay for the day or worse. We are working in jobs that haven’t fully adapted to the acceleration of change that is happening. We are also not preparing ourselves for a time when our jobs do shift and we only have four hours of work per day.


How would your day look if you only had half of the time each day to work? How would you spend your time?

Shifting priorities, experiencing more fulfillment, and maximizing time

When we experience restrictions and constraints, our creativity increases. We use our attention with more purpose. Distractions become more noticeable. Meetings don’t become as frequent because our communication becomes clear and faster.


As a result of this change, the work we are doing becomes more purposeful and enjoyable. Questions begin to come into focus, such as, “How can I get this task done with half the time I usually take?” Things that seem urgent at first are deferred until a later date. Most tasks that are communicated as urgent are tested more, we take our time more seriously.


All high priority items would be tackled first. This would lead to more impact and increase our overall usefulness to our team and clients. we would delegate more. we would drop projects that aren’t fruitful and fulfilling. We would be more selective in the projects that we choose to take on in the future. And we would consider the requirements more and think about the price for taking on tasks assigned.


We will enjoy work more but, we won’t obsess over it during our off-hours. We’ll experience life more. For we are not mechanisms but, people. And when we aren’t working we will have to find time for fun and for experiencing the nuances of life. Work for work’s sake will be obsolete and completely unnecessary.


If we don’t begin to consider our daily workdays looking like this, the transition will be a painful one. Instead, when the transition takes place, we should enjoy it for the opportunities it will bring.


Jobs aren’t being replaced, they are changing and evolving. As our idea of work is redefined and new skills are required of us, we also need to start adopting a new paradigm of thought. The sooner, the better.


Career Design: Searching For A Combination Of Skills That Make You Irreplaceable

For Every Job Replaced, A New One Will Be Created

I’m an optimist. Instead of expecting not to have a job in the future because automation, I expect that there will be more new jobs than ever before. With this emergence of new jobs however, I am worried about making sure that I am consistently learning new skills that can be transferable. Instead of searching for that dream job, I am more concerned with growing a large combination of skills.


In 2007, author and cartoonist Scott Adams published a career advice article on skills acquisition. In this article, he explains that we should not be aiming to be in the top 1% of one specific skill. Instead, we should be focusing on being in the top 25% in a combination of skills. Using this tactic will make us more successful in the long run. He gives an example of how this approach helped him in his own career, creating one of the most popular cartoon comic strips in the world, Dilbert. Thirteen years later and his advice still rings true.


Becoming So Useful That You Seem Irreplaceable

Job security may be a remnant of the past but, there should still be methods that we can use to ensure we at least seem as irreplaceable as possible, in the eyes of the people we work with. The last thing anyone ever wants to be is a replaceable cog in the system, waiting to be usurped by cheaper labor. This applies to any professional working in any industry. So how do we showcase our usefulness, how do we show our clients, teammates, and bosses that we are irreplaceable?


We can show others that we are irreplaceable by bringing a unique set of skills to the table. What represents a person more than their job title is the set of demonstrable skills that they have. Even though this idea may seem obvious, skills aren’t necessarily discussed in the typical college setting. Students who have not yet entered the workforce don’t seem to notice that their studies don’t lead to the acquisition of applicable skills.


Understanding theories and concepts are always vital to the learning process yet, to really be ready to work in an industry requires the acquisition of skills. Having studied marketing case studies doesn’t necessarily mean that you know how to create a marketing campaign from scratch. Taking four years to learn photography and doesn’t necessarily prepare you for dealing with a picky client. This goes to show that we have to take a different approach to growing as young professionals.


Key Skills Everyone Should Know, Regardless Of What Industry They’re In

There must certainly be universal skills that transfer over to multiple industries and positions. Take for example, the ability to communicate effectively in both one’s writing and in public speaking. No matter the job, there will come a time each day that you will have to either speak or write to communicate with your team and clients. The better you are at asking and answering questions, delegating tasks clearly, and communicating your ideas will increase the chances of you advancing in your career.


Another transferable skill that you may want to cultivate is the ability to give and receive feedback. This skill is essential because without feedback, you nor your team can improve. Being able to give feedback may be more critical a skill to learn, as people are emotional and the ability to help others without appearing mean will considerably affect your career. Additionally, not being sensitive whenever you’re told to redo an assignment will show that you are a good listener. And it will show that you care more about the task at hand, rather than your own ego.


I am certain that the ability to learn quickly will also be useful to any team you are in. If you can learn new skills and concepts quickly, you help your team save money on training costs. Having the initiative to educate yourself on topics that relate to your industry also indicates an ability to potentially teach others. Also, if you can create a system of self-education, you standout amongst other professionals who become complacent and comfortable in their positions.


Lastly, time management is an essential skill that you must get and cultivate at any stage of your career. Without good time management skills, you will become unreliable. People won’t be able to trust you when you say that you will submit an assignment by a certain time. If you have good time management skills, at a certain point you’ll be able to manage and delegate tasks to other people. The more you cultivate this skill, the faster the teams that you manage will grow.


I am certain that there are many other skills that are equally as important to the four mentioned above. Above all else, what will make you an attractive candidate in any future job application will be your ability to clearly showcase your list of skills. There will always be jobs that require certifications and a minimum educational requirement but, what will become more important over time is demonstrating what skills you have that others don’t.


If you can start considering what unique set of skills you have right now, which skills you’d like to add, and how you want to demonstrate them, you will be well on your way to becoming incredibly useful to others. The more useful you become, the more irreplaceable you will seem.

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