The Three-Hour Work Day

Carlos Slim, the Mexican billionaire (and one of the richest people in the world) recently campaigned for the three-day work week. Richard Branson, another of the world’s smartest and wealthiest people, thought it was a great idea.

You can actually increase productivity by working fewer hours and concentrating your work within a limited time frame.

Why does it work? Because you tend to be more effective and avoid wasting all of your time that way!

Many people who work 9-5 jobs waste a lot of time in commuting, chatting with coworkers, time-consuming procedures, etc. etc.

If you have your own business and you decide, “What are the most important things I can do in order to get the results that I want?”, you can focus on these activities and pay other people to do the rest.

I’ve found that working less generally means making more and being more effective, rather than what you might imagine.

No, it’s not a catastrophe when we work less; as long as we work more effectively we tend to focus on what’s important. We bring our laser-sharp focus and only do what truly matters.

You’ve probably had the experience in the past of having to work within a very tight deadline, perhaps producing a paper in college. Like many people, you may have found out that you produced your best work with this deadline.

Why does this happen? Why aren’t we more effective when we have more time to complete a project?

The reality is, when we have a lot of time, we tend to fill that time with unnecessary activities. When we have a shorter, tighter deadline, we tend to focus on the most important activities that we can do to complete the project.

We act quickly. We act with intensity. We think with a plan in mind. We make sure we don’t waste a minute!

The Three-Day Work Week

You could realistically set up a work week where you work for three days and have four days off. You could even work every other day if that suites you better.

In any case, it is possible to do like Carlos Slim suggest and live the three-day work week.

I’ve tried this approach, but I don’t like it as much. When you give yourself three days to complete an entire week’s worth of work, it’s easy to burn yourself out in those three days and end up wasting time trying to catch up the next day.

Because of this, it’s easy to give up on your intention and just catch up on work the following day. Then it turns into a four-day work week, then five, etc.

It gets tiresome working 10-12+ hours per day trying to complete all of your work, and then repeating it again and again. You work the same amount but in a concentrated period of time, and you run the risk of burning yourself out.

It can work if you’re disciplined and limit your hours, but as a result you’re not looking forward to those working days. You see those days as your days of drudgery and penance, and you see your vacation days as your “relief”.

This makes you dread the work days even more and they will be even more intense. It becomes easy to procrastinate as you’re not looking forward to your working days, and when the mind is dreading something it comes up with excuses for avoiding it.

For many people, it’s easier just to not do something instead of failing at it.

I think the three day work week can be a somewhat of a trap, and only the most motivated of individuals can maintain it.

The Three-Hour Work Day

The three-hour work day is my preferred method for reducing your hours spent working while being more productive.

With the three-hour work day, you work for three hours per day for typically 5-6 days per week, whatever you prefer.

Three hours goes by quickly, yet is still an excellent period of time to concentrate and work.

Generally, writers don’t write for more than 3-4 hours per day. This is something I discovered when I read the book, “Daily Rituals: How Artist Work” by Mason Currey.

In his book, Currey describes the working routine of hundreds of artist, writers, and philosophers throughout the ages. The curious thing I discovered in the book was that many artists don’t seem to work any more than 3-4 hours per day.

Why? This type of work takes up so much mental energy and it’s just not something that most people can do all day long.

There are a few exceptions, but in general writers, composers, and other creative individuals are only able to produce for 3-4 hours per day.

If you are an Internet entrepreneur, you are also a creative individual. The most important work that you will do in that line of business is creative work. You can hire other people as freelancers to take care of the aspects of your business that are not as creative.

For example, let’s say you do videos on YouTube. The creative part of that is coming up with an idea for the video and then recording it.

Once that’s done however, someone else can take over and edit the video, upload it to YouTube, and send out the eZine to your email list.

This is how you can easily fill up a 12-hour day doing this type of work. You can’t fill a 12-hour work day with 12 hours of writing or creative work, but you can fill it with all of the other to-dos that need to be done outside of the creative process.

If you want to live a three-hour work day, you are going to have to hire other people to do some of the work for you. You’re going to focus on the creative part of the work, which actually turns out to be the most important factor in growing your business.

Other freelancers (graphic designers, programmers, etc.) can be hired on Elance.com, locally, or via recommendations you get from fellow entrepreneurs.

How To Put the Three-Hour Work Day in Practice

I’m pretty close to the three-hour work day myself. If you average out my hours, I am closer to 4-5 hours, with 3 hours being spent on creative tasks like writing, and the remaining hours being filled with meetings, Skype calls, emails, and other various to-dos.

Here’s how you could put a three-hour work day into practice:

Hour #1: Product Creation

For the first hour, you are going to focus on product creation. This means working on your next ebook, your next DVD, or whatever other product you would like to sell.

This hour is dedicated to working on the projects and items that you will sell, including writing salespages, preparing and promoting material, as well as the ghostwriting for your products.

Hour #2: Content and eZine

This next hour should be spent on the content, eZines, and other promotional material that you will be sending to your email list.

You’ll spend this time writing new articles or creating videos and other content, as well as scheduling eZines and email promotions to be sent.

Hour #3: Communication

The 3rd hour should be spent answering emails and communication. This includes corresponding with your customer service and managing anybody else who works for you.

This is a simple setup for a three-hour work day, but it works very well.

You may find that you can’t jump right into it immediately, and you have to add a 4th or 5th hour until you are able to become more efficient and achieve the three-hour work day.

What I like about the three-hour work day is that you can be done by noon if you want. Or, you can have the morning to yourself and work in the afternoon and evenings. It’s a very nice lifestyle you can live that allows you to live and work from anywhere.

I certainly lived the three-hour work day when I was traveling around the world, and I find myself still coming back to the 3-hour work day (sometimes it’s more like a 1-hour work day!) when I go on a trip. For example, I just spent the last month living and working on the island of Maui.

But, in order to get this done, you need to have your business set up. You need to have ideas for your products and services, and you need to know where you are going. The structures of your online business need to be set up properly.

If you want to learn how to do this yourself, make sure to check out the latest version of our course, “How to Write and Sell Your Own eBooks in 24 Hours or Less.” It has everything you need to get started! Go to:

http://www.fredericpatenaude.com/writeyourebook.html

What have been your experiences with the three-hour work day? Let us know in the comments below!

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