Since reading Tim Ferris’ The 4-Hour Work Week (4HWW,) I was inspired to start batching my work. No emails before 11am or after 3pm. That habit alone saves me time in every corner of my life. I appreciate the spare minutes I collect throughout the day. I no longer waste my time checking email, thinking about work, stressing about work, talking about work with my partner before and after spending long days at the office. Work, for the most part is delegated to its own time and space in my life. It also forced me to become a better time manager, dealing with tasks while the relevant emails are in front of me. There is no procrastinating because I no longer can expect to be checking my email throughout the day- no more 9pm check-ins before bed. A lot more of my time is now spent connecting and doing things I enjoy vs. being on my phone.
Tim’s book also inspired me to make some major changes at the office and to ask for 4/10s. Which means I work four days a week for 10 hours a day. When I realized that my new position needed to be batched as well. The days are long but now I have every other Friday and Monday off. This gives me a four day weekend every two weeks (that was just luck of the draw). I now have more time to travel, write, work on my creative projects..... and my most recent lifestyle experiment to develop my homemaking skills.
I’m the first to admit that homemaking is not an area in which I excel. Since college, I have been a notorious toaster-oven quesadilla queen and canned tuna saltine sandwich eater. These bad culinary habits are often challenged by my food ethics, experience working with chefs and more recently, my relationship. What do you mean my partner wants to sit down and actually eat a real meal together? Who has time for that?!
People who make time do.
Keeping a clean home, gardening and eating meals with the people you love are just like exercising. We have to prioritize it daily and unless you’re in the habit and routine of it; making dinner at a reasonable hour can be a challenge. Often I take late meetings, sliding through the door around 9pm, missing dinner, then complaining if I binge eat something unhealthy. It is too easy for me to take my eating habits and the man who cooks for me for granted.
Growing up I valued a sit down dinner. My partner and I value a balanced routine and eating dinner at normal hour. So, here we are ready to embark on some experiments in homemaking.
1. I cook one meal a week for my partner and/or guests.
2. One week the boyfriend is allowed to voice his opinion (a very particular one at that!) on the menu.
3. The other meal is at my discretion and if he doesn't like it... well, he can eat cake.
Rule three is more a confidence building exercise for me. In the age of social media, we live in a culture that is constantly asking us to seek approval. Especially women. Every like, follow and retweet perpetuates and re-enforces an unnecessary need for acceptance. Small acts like making menu decisions inspire me to form habits which induce confidence in my decision making. It is important that entrepreneurs stand behind the choices they make. In the 4HWW Tim challenges readers to spend a day saying no to people and another day voicing an opinion when asked questions such as, “Where to eat?” It will be a challenge for me to keep quiet about whatever quirky-california-inspired meals I come up with - I'm not what many would call a quiet person. However, I look forward to spending more time sitting down with the people I love, navigating the world of compromise and honing in on some new creative skills.