In the September of 2015, a Swedish city, Gothenburg, made news for implementing a 6 hour work day across its municipal departments, public sector offices and government buildings. The move was said to be taken to increase efficiency and productivity of workers, and to allow them enough time to spend with the family. Though some of us might not be that amused about governmental officials getting more time off from work in the Indian context, the fact that it had started to gain attention with several private entities and startups adopting the same approach is enough to warrant a serious thought.
In a startup, with the concept of ‘flexible timings’, this move assumes special significance. To some, even the thought of such would appear ludicrous (if not outright blasphemous), but what if we did indeed stop to think of what we would do in those 8 hours of free time (assuming 6 hours of sleep)?
1. Watch a movie in the 5 pm to 8 pm slot
‘Coz there are always some movies that only run during that time frame, or perhaps you always kept putting off watching a movie being recommended by scores of your friends until the very last week. In fact, you would have enough time to check the review of a movie as well before heading out to watch it.
2. Order a dish randomly from a nearby food outlet and let it surprise you
With many people repeatedly ordering the same food over and over again, either due to the lack of time or sheer laziness to think of something else, this might be a good time to really read and research before extricating the best food in the vicinity.
3. Explore new restaurants
If you are someone who prefers their food with a great ambiance as well, you could dig up new or unusual restaurants and eateries in different parts of the city to experience new sensations on your taste buds.
4. Rent, read and return books
Nothing beats a good book when it comes to being transported mentally to a different dimension, be it fiction or non-fiction. A good idea would be to browse descriptions and reviews of a book before making a huge list of books (wouldn’t want to run out of something to read within a couple of hours, would we?) and taking all them on rent.
5. Take up guitar classes
Based on whether you are an amateur or at the intermediate level, you now finally have the time to learn the guitar chords from an instructor to the Bollywood song you kept humming while procrastinating at the office or a snazzy riff you heard in an Aerosmith piece.
6. Learn a new language
This is your opportunity to spout new alien words to appear ‘oh-so-quaint’ (for instance, blurting out ‘Au revoir’ whenever bidding someone goodbye) or to get a new perspective on a foreign culture. In fact, by opting for language classes every day, you save yourself from the perennial problem of losing touch and interest in the case of a weekend one.
7. Go on that Tinder date
You swiped right. They did too. You had a nice conversation and agreed to meet each other for a dinner date. But all your hopes of a having a nice night out went crashing to the ground when your boss sent you a calendar invite for 9 pm. The 6 hour work week will ensure that no more Tinder dates get cancelled, in a situation where Matches are rare enough as it is.
8. Hit SoBo decked up in the most glamorous attire
This might resonate with Instagram addicts. Here’s a chance to rent a flashy attire before booking a Uber to hit the town, and put #party #SoBo #restaurantorbarofyourchoice #polka #luv #friends #etcetc in the pictures you upload post the party.
9. Research on the best insurance policies
You have been told time and again that you could avail tax benefits on insurance, have read up on how savings will help you in the future, and yet somehow haven’t come around to actually selecting the best plan. You will finally have enough time to consider several options before making an investment into the future.
10. Give those stinky clothes to the laundry guy
Worn clothes have the unenviable reputation of getting ignored wherever they may be – be it in a laundry basket, on a chair, top of the TV, refrigerator or a shelf. With so much free time in your disposal, you would be able to sort your clothes into categories – whites, colors, to be dry cleaned or regularly washed – before they are sent to the laundry shop.
11. Pay the bills
Electricity, house rent, gas rent – they come in various types and categories, contributing an additional headache to the ones related to work. You could take out the time to carefully calculate the money owed to you or you owe to the government (taxes), private companies (telecom, gas, electricity) and friends (informal loans) to keep better track of your finances.
12. Plan a party meticulously
Theme parties need planning. Even though arranging pizzas, charcoal for the barbecue or hookah, alcoholic spirits and vetting the ‘Invited’ list might not seem much at first, a number of things invariably fall apart at the time of actual execution. The same might be true of office team parties, where a slight misassumption might end up making some team members uncomfortable. You could now plan a party thoroughly or book a themed party for your teammates to ensure that everyone ends up having a good time.
13. Create a strategy for a getaway on some weekend
Sometimes, you just need to escape from it all – the humdrum routines, the monotony, or the constant stress accumulated from a product launch that got delayed. Keep an eye out for extended weekends and plan an itinerary allowing you to rejuvenate yourself by driving or travelling to nearby places and get some respite.
14. Get that ailment cured
The wisdom tooth ache you have been ignoring for long. A cough just that won’t go away. A humongous volume of work piled upon you on the day the doctor has agreed for an appointment. Does any one of the above ring a bell? In case you are nodding your head in affirmation, it is imperative that you search for a specialist doctor and get yourself checked before it is too late.
15. Seek professional help in case of anxiety
Whether it be due to work pressure, office politics, love life (or the absence of one), family problems or similar situation, anxiety wrecks havoc on a person’s mind, leading in some cases to severe depression. Try talking it out with a counsellor, peers or chat with experts and volunteers online to sort your personal issues before it snowballs into something major.
16. Get pampered with a massage or spa treatment
All those hours of a steady sedentary position would have tied up several Gordian knots in your body, which need to be untied in order to function properly. Book a lavish spa treatment and heal your senses to get back into the game with renewed vigour.
17. Get your vehicle serviced
That constant ‘whirrrrrr’ emanating from your car has been screaming for attention for a while now, even as you maneouver the poor machine through traffic jams and busy intersections to your office location. Get it serviced ASAP so that it doesn’t die on you one day while you are facing an emergency.
18. Learn how to cook
When hunger strikes and you have finally had it with cooking and devouring Maggi every night, there comes a time when you wish you possessed culinary talents to whip up the tastiest dishes within minutes. You would suddenly have all the time in the world to experiment with new recipes featured on food blogs and online magazines. In fact, you will have no qualms in preparing even the lengthiest and the most complicated dishes once you start having fun with cooking!
19. PMS on PS 2
Let the hardcore gamer within you unleash its wild side and hunger for success. 12 hours will pass by you in a jiffy as you echo emotions ranging from extreme anger to hopeless anguish, showing off your joystick skills to your friends.
20. Get your junk out of the house
‘Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder’ and therefore, what may appear junk to you could be absolutely precious in the eyes of the other. Start making a list of things you could discard taking space up in your home and sell all your old stuff online, geting money to spend liesurely elsewhere. Or perhaps add it to your savings.
21. Explore the city to take in all its sights and smells
Don’t be that person who spends years holed up in his/her residence and then responds with a blank face when a visiting friend calls on them, asking them about the best or unusual places to see in their city. Take time out to experience the various treats in terms of culture, heritage, night life etc that your city offers so that you never face that embarassing situation.
What would you do if you had a 6 hour weekday? Do let us know in the comments section below!
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— Aasaanjobs (@Aasaanjobs) June 24, 2016