One of the changes I'm incorporating into my life this year is the concept of working with the seasons. What I mean by that is -- (at least in Canada) -- we have 4 seasons -- and my energy level seems to fluctuate according to the seasons. In the winter, I'm lower energy and motivated than I am from spring to fall. We had a tough winter this year and I really noticed it.
So, I thought -- wouldn't it be nice to have more time off in the darker months than in the lighter, more energetic months?
The change is subtle, in that it will mean I will take more time off from Dec through Feb -- one more week to be exact.
The last time I made a similar change was years ago when I decided that I was more paid work productive during the afternoons than early mornings. Thus I no longer work mornings. My work day starts at 1pm and ends at 5pm or 7pm depending on the day.
As my need for paid income decreased over the years, I have systematically reduced my work week. I haven't worked 5 days a week or weekends (when I was also teaching piano and music history) for at least 8 years now.
Currently I am at 3 days a week with total paid work hours at 16 hrs a week and for 2009, 128 working days a year.
My next move will either be to cut down to 2 days a week (12 hrs) or work it as I am for another 9 yrs (when D will be done the mortgage) move out west if that's what we want to do, retire from my paid career and do something entirely different.
D has a more traditional career and mindset compared to I. He does have a corporate career but what comes with that are paid holidays, benefits, a small pension and the ability to work from anywhere. Should we move, he is hoping that he will be able to work remote full time.
Whereas I am self employed and have to make my own pensions and benefits. Other than him wanting another couple of weeks off a year, he thrives with the structure and set up. I guess I have more of an artist disposition.
I feel it is important that whenever possible, to mold your life, your work, your way of doing things in a way that is in harmony with who you are and how you work best. If it can be done before retirement, even better. I believe that I would see less stress, less stress related illnesses etc. in my practice if we were all able to do that.