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What If You Had to Work Only One Hour a Day?

One Hour a Day, No More

I once caught bronchitis, and it lasted for more than a week. I spent much of the day sleeping or complaining.

Of course, I still had to work sometime. My energy level was constantly low, but every so often I’d muster enough strength to work through a few tasks or half-heartedly reply to emails before crashing on the couch.

The rest of the time, when I wasn’t sleeping or complaining, I was on the couch reading or watching bad TV shows on my iPad. Once in a while I’d be inspired to boil water for herbal tea. It was rough—even worse than the dreaded man flu.

That’s when I thought of the question:

“What if you physically couldn’t work more than one hour a day?”

In this scenario, the hour-a-day workload isn’t a benefit, designed to set you free to play golf all afternoon or whatever it is people think of doing when they aren’t at work. No, it’s an imperative. You get one hour to do your work, no more. After your hour of power concludes each day, you have to wait another 23 hours before resuming.

Without a doubt, I realized that this would be a huge problem for me. I already struggle with maintaining things in the current “most of the day, every day” work schedule. Certainly, even if I made the improvements I need to make anyway, I wouldn’t be able to create or grow something during my one hour of allotted time.

If I found a way to defer or assign all the mundane and unimportant tasks I complete all day, I’d save some time—no doubt. But even if this freed up a huge amount of time, which I don’t think is likely, I’d still face the classic creator’s dilemma:

1. Do a bunch of things

2. Do one thing really well

And I wouldn’t want to choose! It would be… really hard.

Fortunately, I made a full recovery. But ever since then, I’ve been thinking about the challenge of such a strict limitation.

If you had to work only one hour a day, and could do no more—how would you spend it?

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Image: Warby

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