The 10-Hour Workday

Today marks the second day where I must put the day job away as best as possible after just ten hours of on-the-clock effort in a bid to get some better sleep every night, as per doctor's orders. There are a number of benefits to working no more than 600 minutes a day, such as keeping overtime hours down1 and spending a little more time with Reiko after the boy has gone to bed. However, I will need to contend with the nagging feeling that I should be doing something more productive than sitting on the sofa and having a conversation about upcoming trips, our landscaping plans for the coming spring, or — heaven forbid — getting back into studying Japanese so that I can communicate with people a little more intelligently2. There's no denying that the forced change will take some time to become the new normal and I'm looking forward to using some of the freed up time to read, write, and think.

In the reading queue is Teaching in a Digital Age (2nd Edition) by A.W. Bates and The Rational Bible: Exodus by Dennis Prager. I've also considered reading The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, which I understand would be an incredibly depressing, though enlightening, study of recent history.

Writing will not be anything nearly as coherent or structured as the books mentioned above, however, I have been working on a potential "open specification" for a digital textbook that would offer a good deal of flexibility for teachers as well as students. The preliminary work is certainly interesting, though there are a couple of areas that will need further consideration, such as the most logical way to keep file sizes down while also maintaining portability over decades.

As for thinking, there's just so much to consider all the time. One topic that I'd like to invest more time in is with my future, both near and distant, as it's hard to know what to aim for when the target is fuzzy or non-existent. When I try to think about where I'll be in three, five, and ten years, the mind comes up mostly blank. Sure, I have a couple of goals and have made some decent progress on being gainfully self-employed in the next few years, but is this the best way to accomplish the longest term goal of dying debt free with enough in the bank for the family to not worry about money for at least a decade? I have no idea, which is why setting aside adequate time for thinking, which usually involves pens and paper to physically map the thought process, is so important.

Limiting the day job to just ten hours feels like I'm working just a half day. Hopefully I'll make effective use of the additional time every day.


  1. Keeping the OT numbers down is good for my managers.

  2. I want my words to have more nuance when I speak with people here. As it stands, most of what I say can be perfectly understood by a 10 year old, which is nowhere near the level of sophistication an adult needs to be taken seriously.