Monday, May 12, 2008

Work Less and Play More

That’s a book title written by Steven Catlin (Kimberlite Publishing), a "how-to" tips to working less and playing more. It is not an intellectual discussion of the value of leisure or the world problems about consumption and overwork. Rather, it is a guide to how you individually can reduce your consumption, make your "Personal Treasury" and end up having more leisure time.
Catlin will challenge you to rethink your purchases and think about how many are truly necessities and how many really give pleasure to you, contra how many are built on Tradition, Guilt or Ego.
He considers some of the most valued "Tradition Purchases", most notably:
1) Having a house
2) Owning kids
3) Owning a pet
4) Having a dependent (rather than independent) spouse
He does not tell you these are "bad purchases". Instead, he remind us to take the time to reflect on why we are planning these acquisitions. If you do, he are sure, you may be surprised to know that you would be happier without some of them. And, the world may be happier without you having them.
He repeatedly discussed the concept of Consequence Costs: The time and the money that your possessions extract from you long after they are paid for. The cost of the dog is not the dollars purchase price, but the time it takes to walk it and feed it and the money spent on food and vet bills.
If you truly get enjoyment from your dog, your new car, your boat or your kids, by all means go and have them and count them in the Pleasure Purchase factors. Just be honest with yourself, he remind us.
Some of these efforts are made early in life. Catlin gives clues on how to minimize the effect of past mistakes while avoiding future mistakes. He puts less emphasis on the "how-to" of working less than on the "how-to" of reducing consumption and time robbery.
The idea is that if one has enough money and investments accumulated by saving rather than spending, then it is possible to take extended holidays without pay. It is not important to stop working altogether, unless that is your purpose. But it is possible to work fewer hours or to take breaks of months or years at a time at work or between works, with good planning.
This book will of course make you to think about your values and lifestyle in detail while giving you real clues on how to get a lifestyle that lets you really enjoy the fruits of your work. This book offers good tips whether you are seeking more leisure in your life or only to re-think your current lifestyle.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

pretty idea, really. And Im now thinking about work less play less, live more, great isnt' it