The 4-Day Work Week Apprentice stage is the first stage in the 4-Day Work Week Journey. It's where we focus on maximizing your life outside of work without even needing to change jobs.
Whether you're already an entrepreneur, or whether you're an employee, this lesson applies for you, and will work for you. In each of these stages where we work towards mastery of the 4-Day Work Week Lifestyle, the Apprentice stage focuses on controlling and optimizing what you already have. This includes making the most of your:
In each of these steps there are milestones you can achieve that let you know you're mastering the process as much as possible. As somebody who is simultaneously a student and a mentor, sometimes I have these things down, and sometimes I don't. When I'm doing these things, my life is much better. When I'm not, it's not. I think you're going to find the same thing is true for you.
With each of these milestones, there is a follow-up worksheet that can help you to decide which of these milestones you’re going to aim for, which ones need some tweaking, and, most importantly, a target date for when you’re going to do them.
This means sleeping enough that you’re happy, energetic, and able to wake up without an alarm. Research shows that most adults need at least 7 to 9 hours, with 8 as the optimum amount, though of course some people need less. However, bear in mind that chronic sleep deprivation happens gradually, and many people are sleep deprived without realizing it. The symptoms of sleep deprivation include being tired, irritable, cranky, and not being on top of your game. Even if we don’t notice these symptoms, the people around us will.
Your spirituality might take the shape of prayer, meditation, or just being with yourself. If you don't believe in God or spirituality, think of this time as your psychological health practice, or having time to just relax, chill, and be present.
If in Milestone 2 we're looking at our spiritual dimension, here we're looking at our physical dimension. This can be whatever kind of exercise you like: going to the gym, running, or even something more low-impact, like yoga. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it’s some sort of physical activity.
This just means doing something you enjoy, something that is not particularly growth oriented. You're not looking to take over the world, or to be a better person. You're just chilling and enjoying yourself. This could be watching some TV, playing video games or whatever to do to unwind, as long as it allows you to escape for a little bit.
As humans, we thrive off learning. Research shows that when our brain stops learning, we don't do too well; people who keep learning and using their brains throughout their lives tend to be happier and healthier. Reading and learning can also help us to appreciate points of view other than our own, which can help to tackle wider issues. However, it can be hard to make time for reading and learning as we get older and our lives get busier, which is why I’d say aim for 30 minutes a day to begin with.
With all these things we’re making time for, we’re going to need to cut some other stuff out – the things you don’t enjoy doing, which might be chores, doing dishes, laundry, admin, and so on. Of course, I’m not telling you to just stop doing your chores, but consider this: If you have too many chores to do, maybe it’s because you just own too much stuff? You might need to manage your possessions or do something different, which we’ll cover in the episode on Material Possessions Milestones.
Give yourself a day to chill, to work on stuff you enjoy, to spend time with your family… anything but work!
This might include TV, video games, social media, and electronic devices. There is certainly a healthy place for these devices in our world, but it's also something that can really drain us and zap our energy if we just sit there receiving content, receiving ideas, receiving entertainment from somebody else. It's fun to watch stuff, but it's even more fun to do it. So, do more stuff.
Try to make 30 minutes for yourself without deadlines where you can eat without pressure, 3 times a day. Just enjoy being present and enjoying a little space. I believe that you age a lot slower if you do that. I can't prove it, but I know at least psychologically you're a happier person when you're able to do that.
This can be in whatever mix you like, but the important thing is to enjoy other people's company, to be present in relationships and to live life a little less seriously.
I have a very simple philosophy about life. People often focus on having these epic, amazing experiences and yes, things like getting married can be awesome, having kids can be awesome, but if every day you're happy and if you enjoy every day, you'll probably have a happy life. Of course, there will be a couple of days where things don't go the way you want, but for the most part if every day you're having fun and you're enjoying stuff and you make time for these things, you're not going to reach the end of your life and think “Man, I didn't have time. I wish I'd spent less time at work.” Instead, you will day “Okay, I did my time at work, but I did this other awesome stuff as well.”
So, these are the 10 Mastery milestones for optimizing your time. I hope you find them helpful. Remember, we are all about helping you make more money in less time doing what you do best, but all of that is useless if, when you get outside of work, you're not having fun.
This is about helping you enjoy your time. Let me know if you have any questions on today’s lesson. If you want to get the show, slides and notes you can go to 4dayentrepreneur.com.
If you want to learn more about becoming a 4-Day Work Week Apprentice, and if you want to learn the best way to apply this in your life and to make the most of your relationships, your time, your money and your things, go to 4dayworkweek.com/apprentice, where you can learn about our training program.
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