My youngest daughter has written articles on downsizing which caught the attention of a researcher from the Australian Readers Digest.
Consequently in this month’s edition (with Hillary Clinton on the Cover) you can read her thoughts on page 34 in an article entitled Sea Change in the city, together with stories of 7 other urban warriors.
She also appeared on Channel 9 for 'A Current Affair' at 6.30pm on Friday talking about downsizing with some of her songs.
You can also hear her songs at http://lessismoreblog.blogspot.com/
It also reminds me of the possible need to downside work commitments. Surveys have indicated today we work much longer hours than in the past with many regularly working over 50 hours a week. As a nation we rank alongside the United States for countries working the longest hours which can often mean there is insufficient time for family, friends and our communities where voluntrary work is similarly decreasing. I remember my own working life and for a period when I was the most productive and yet barely worked normal office hours.
I had worked with a large international group which had subsequently been taken over by another wholly Australian owned company which was the leader in its field. Despite being the one taken over I had secured a good relationship with the senior management and found myself reporting the MD with a very busy schedule and a number of major initiatives in the pipeline. However just prior to the appointment I had committed to participating in the Great Victorian Bile ride which involved cycling for over a 1,100 km spread into daily trips of 100km or more mainly along the Great Ocean Rd. To my horror I realised (not being particually fit and not having ridden a bike for over 30 years) I would need to do regular serious daily sustained training for at least 3 to 4 months beforehand. There was no alternative but to either cancel the ride to enable me to devote myself fully to the work tasks ahead, (what I would normally have done) or leave early each day and begin a sensible training routine. I adopted the latter alternative which necessitated tearing out of the building most afternoons early in order to do 2/3 hours riding where I could.
When at work I focused on my commitments and managed to secure my objectives. Nobody seemed to bother much about my hours. What it taught me was we work more effectively when we have a good work balance and during that time I think it was one of the less stressful, yet more productive and successful in my entire previous working life.
On the day I was due to take leave and take off the next day on the ride I mentioned to my boss I was leaving early, but he insisted I stay on as he said there was a presentation I shouldn’t miss. All of the staff had bought hilarious items for me to take with them which were all individuality presented to me amid roars of laughter along with a suitably hilarious poem.