Transitions: From 5 Days a Week to Always On

Transitions: From 5 Days a Week to Always On

Why do technologies that promised to help us work less, actually pressure us to work more? In this episode, David and Justin tackle the transition from “5-day-a-week” work to being “always on”. Here are the notes from the show:

  • Henry Ford was the one who originally conducted studies on the optimum amount of work per week. It’s where we get our typical “9-5” and 5 days a week from. Related: we launched the David Stark Collective on the 100th anniversary date of when Ford raised wages at his company and changed the course of economic history. Check out our first podcast episode here and the first blog post here.
  • One of the ironies of the digital age we live in is the original promise that electronic devices and digital communication would save us lots of time; the reality is that these devices keep us all “on call” 24/7, 365.
  • As in life, there is a “duality” to digital devices – both good and bad. Work is no longer confined to a “time or place”; again, that can be good and bad.
  • This transition needs the image of the human body to help change our mindset about work. Sleep is one of the natural cycles of living things, and, as we apply that to organizations, they to need (at least the human side) to rest. Check out the article on the ROI of Sleep.
  • Sabbath Rest is not only one of the “big 10”, but Jesus reinforced that it was made for people, and not the other way around. Sleep studies continue to reinforce this idea. Sleep does at least the following things for all of us:
    • Increased productivity
    • Higher creativity
    • Greater ability to perform and produce
    • Improved ability to form and store memories
    • Strengthen your moral compass
    • Healthier understanding of identity
  • Neuroscience points to the importance of sleep and productivity as well. Check out this great Ted Talk by Russel Foster on why we need sleep.
  • Some hot tips on how to cut your wireless cord:
    • Do not keep your digital devices in your bedroom, but somewhere else
    • Intentionally take a day off, even if at first you have no idea what to do.
    • Shut off devices in places other than the movie theater
    • Create a “device lockbox” where your phone goes after work until at least the kids go to bed
    • Use apps to limit your time – Offtime, Moment, and Breakfree are good options to try out
    • Implement Daily Questions – this is a tip from the book “Triggers” on changing behavior
  • This phenomenon is severely affecting our economy!
    • 22% of men ages 21-30 with less than a bachelors degree reported not working at all in the last year – all time high
    • Some have tied this to a sluggish economy and decling manufacturing sector
    • New report ties it to increase in video game play
  • It is interesting what Paul says in Philippians chapter 3. He makes his list of the things that made him acceptable in his day, born on the 8th day, of the Tribe of Benjamin, as a Pharisee flawless, educated by the best teachers. He then says he considers all of this trash, literally dung compared to the surpassing grace of God, found in Christ, knowing the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. Having a righteousness that is not his own, but Christ’s.
  • The great tool of prayer, solitude, or simply rest, for Christians I call salvation rest. You do not need to prove anything to God, your acceptable right now, no mediated social self (like the Pharisee’s practiced), no makeup, and masks. Resting in this can make a huge internal ballast against the pressure to be socially one way or the other.
  • Sanctification rest
    • A third important reality happens when the speed of business is as fast as our electronic devices can make it, and the expectations while at work if many times a frantic space. WE believe lies like, I can always do more or I have to perform even more highly than I am.
    • Underneath many of these lies, are deeper untruths, I will never be good enough, I am not contributing enough, etc.
    • The third type of rest that God has for us is what I call Sanctification Rest. Christians who are following God want to do what pleases God, of make our contribution in the world. At the pace of business, these easily becomes performance orientation or even perfectionism.
  • Struggling on where to start regarding sorting through all the “stuff” that you need to do? Consider using the Eisenhower Box as a tool.
  • We need a break from the internal talk that I am not good enough, I have not done enough, I should have done more, etc. Part of letting that go of this is realizing it is mature Christians don’t think they have obtained it either. Rest in the reality that you are already loved, accepted, and forgiven. Refer to Phil 3, 12-15:

“Not that we have obtained all this (perfect performance or perfection), or already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward. All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things.”

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