Author Topic: NYT: You Don't Need More Free Time  (Read 5382 times)

frances

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NYT: You Don't Need More Free Time
« on: January 15, 2016, 01:54:17 PM »
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/10/opinion/sunday/you-dont-need-more-free-time.html?_r=0

I saw this article and it made me think about early retirees. The article puts forth that while we may want and need more free time, it's not going to benefit our well being if we don't have people to spend it with. I've seen some early retirees mention loneliness in ER, including the retired lawyer MMM posted about this week. I thought this might spur some interesting discussion. Thoughts?

Dicey

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Re: NYT: You Don't Need More Free Time
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2016, 02:22:26 PM »
Please allow me to be the first one to call BS! An extra day off work, (pre-FIRE, lol) allowed me to get all the drudgery out of the way so I could enjoy the weekend more. Now that I'm FIRE, I don't know how I ever had time to work. Sure, there was a period of adjustment, which I filled with volunteer activities and other long-delayed fun stuff, including sleep, lots and lots of glorious sleep. I think the skill is in learning to amuse one's self in productive, inexpensive ways without needing others to fill your days for you. IMHO, the article is pure drivel, but thanks for the link.

PS - This reminded me of a favorite saying "Only boring people get bored."

frances

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Re: NYT: You Don't Need More Free Time
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2016, 02:29:09 PM »
Definitely agree with you about "only boring people get bored" but this is more speaking to the importance human interaction has on one's well being. For the record, I am an aspiring early retiree and I think there will be plenty to do, but perhaps a shortage of humans to do things with.

mathlete

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Re: NYT: You Don't Need More Free Time
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2016, 02:36:00 PM »
I certainly like spending time withe the people I like, which is why I want both GF and I retire early. I'm sure we'll find plenty of things to do together.

Even so though, I think I could manage with a couple of extra hours a week to zone out and play video games by myself.

Free time can become time spent doing anything. Up to and including a job.

I call BS too.


Cookie78

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Re: NYT: You Don't Need More Free Time
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2016, 02:44:25 PM »
I'm not retired yet, but my free weekday off every 2 weeks when everyone else is working is my favorite day each time, in large part for the reason Diane C mentioned already.

I expect it might be a bit of a shock at first, but I'm certain I'll find ways to fill my days and socialize with friends. :)

Mother Fussbudget

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Re: NYT: You Don't Need More Free Time
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2016, 02:51:17 PM »
“HUMAN BEINGS MAKE LIFE SO INTERESTING. DO YOU KNOW, THAT IN A UNIVERSE SO FULL OF WONDERS, THEY HAVE MANAGED TO INVENT BOREDOM. (Death)”
― Terry Pratchett, Hogfather

Hank Sinatra

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Re: NYT: You Don't Need More Free Time
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2016, 02:54:55 PM »
One of the biggest reasons I retired early was so that I wouldn't have to spend so much time with people

GreenSheep

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Re: NYT: You Don't Need More Free Time
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2016, 03:10:59 PM »
I travel for work, so when I'm working, I'm out of town, and when I'm home, I do absolutely nothing related to work. I tend to do each for several days in a row. I never, ever, ever get bored when I'm home. In fact, today I'm frustrated with the fact that I have to fly back to work because there are so many more interesting things I could be doing at home! And although I have a live-in boyfriend and friends in town, most of my days off are spent by myself until the bf gets home from work. I love it! I've considered joining a Meetup group or something, but the idea of planning my day around some scheduled get-together feels like work (in the sense that it seems exhausting) unless it's a really close friend I can truly relax with. I am an introvert, though, so if you are an extrovert, your experience and preferences may be very different.

Greenroller

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Re: NYT: You Don't Need More Free Time
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2016, 05:00:12 PM »
I have a 3 day work week. I can assure you, 4 day weekends are not sufficient.

Conjou

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Re: NYT: You Don't Need More Free Time
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2016, 05:07:45 PM »
One of the biggest reasons I retired early was so that I wouldn't have to spend so much time with people

+1, or at least with people I don't chose to be with

Michread

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Re: NYT: You Don't Need More Free Time
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2016, 05:58:57 PM »
Most days I hangout with people who are MUCH older than me. Why is that - everyone else is working or busy with their young children. 

TheNick

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Re: NYT: You Don't Need More Free Time
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2016, 06:03:37 PM »
I have a 3 day work week. I can assure you, 4 day weekends are not sufficient.

I work 12 hour shifts so I get a lot of long weekends as well.  I agree with this sentiment.  4 days on is an eternity, 4 days off is the blink of an eye.  I'd never get bored if I didn't work...I'd just have more time to do all the things I'd rather be doing instead of working.

onlykelsey

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Re: NYT: You Don't Need More Free Time
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2016, 06:07:21 PM »
I think there's something to it.  Maybe you just need to train your brain, but I took a week off between jobs and rewired random lighting in my house.  In my 20s, at least, it is hard to find someone to hang out with or have a potluck with, because we're all working full-time+.

big_slacker

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Re: NYT: You Don't Need More Free Time
« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2016, 06:25:15 PM »
He seems to think that the only way to sync schedules for social activity is a strictly scheduled workweek. Which is a load of horseshit, I didn't need a PhD in sociology to figure that one out. ;)

mm1970

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Re: NYT: You Don't Need More Free Time
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2016, 06:47:05 PM »
Also going to call BS.

My first job in manufacturing was a 4.5 day week.  We were out by noon on Friday. So. Much. Win!  I would do the laundry and grocery shopping on Friday afternoon (the only key is that I was living in student housing, as was a coworker with 2 kids, and I had to get to the laundromat before he took up all the washers!)

Weekends were FREEEEE. Well, hubby and I cleaned on Sat mornings.

After that job, weekends became about chores.  Then enter the kids.  Even more chores.

I have to say, that this winter, I've missed a lot of work due to illness.  Kids are barfing all winter.  Anyway, even just days like today, when I was unexpectedly off a half day, were a gift!  In those 4 hours, I did some PTA stuff, built two legos with my toddler, made and ate our lunch, cleaned up a bit, did an hour of work from home.  (Of course in today's case, my kid wasn't the sick one, daycare was closed due to illness.)  And holidays (that are school/ daycare holidays not work holidays) - my spouse and I split the days.  I actually get to cook on those days.  Maybe nothing amazing, but certainly more than reheating what I made 3 days ago.

GLORIOUS.  Very very occasionally I've had a day off with no kids.  I go to the gym and/ or walk, cook something really nice, do some quilting or crocheting, so some serious organizing, actually think about or write a blog post, read my book, take a nap - all those things that happen oh so rarely.

mozar

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Re: NYT: You Don't Need More Free Time
« Reply #15 on: January 15, 2016, 08:25:49 PM »
That article was so annoying. The reason unemployed people are stressed during the week and not stressed during the weekend is because they spent the week searching for JOBS! When I was unemployed I was so relieved on Saturday because I didn't have to do interviews. Maybe the unemployed people only were looking for jobs that interview on Saturday and Sunday but I doubt it.

redbird

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Re: NYT: You Don't Need More Free Time
« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2016, 06:47:56 PM »
That article was so annoying. The reason unemployed people are stressed during the week and not stressed during the weekend is because they spent the week searching for JOBS! When I was unemployed I was so relieved on Saturday because I didn't have to do interviews. Maybe the unemployed people only were looking for jobs that interview on Saturday and Sunday but I doubt it.

Agreed. Now that I'm FIRE, I actually like weekdays more than weekends. Why?

1) Stores, parks, and pretty much every other place you'd want to go is less crowded when people are at school/work. Even the roads are less crowded if you avoid rush hour. It makes things less hectic and stressful.
2) Things are quieter. I currently live in an apartment building that has a lot of families with young children, and a playground right outside my windows. I don't have to look at the clock to tell you when kids are not in school, thanks to the sounds of kids playing and shouting and crying. Also, people tend to go to bed earlier during the weeknights because of school/work. On weekends, people are getting home at 1am from bars, talking loudly in the hallway and slamming doors.

When I was at my maximum stress level, which was the last 6 months of my working life, even weekends didn't make me feel better because of crowd and noise stress. I was stressed 7 days a week then, which was rapidly increasing my burnout rate.

If I was unemployed and NEEDED to be employed, then weekdays would be stressful again, because I'd be focused on job hunting and going to interviews.

ender

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Re: NYT: You Don't Need More Free Time
« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2016, 10:00:19 PM »
That article was so annoying. The reason unemployed people are stressed during the week and not stressed during the weekend is because they spent the week searching for JOBS! When I was unemployed I was so relieved on Saturday because I didn't have to do interviews. Maybe the unemployed people only were looking for jobs that interview on Saturday and Sunday but I doubt it.

I bet the percentage of people who spend 40 hours a week or more in the job search process consistently when unemployed is quite low.