A Mid Week Holiday.


I was taking a mid morning nap yesterday when my friend Raman woke me up with a phone call from Secunderabad. He was on an enforced holiday, it being Gandhi Jayanti.

The year 2013 so far has had many such midweek holidays and Raman has been evangelical about making it a permanent feature as he finds it, shall we say rejuvenating, for lack of a better word. Having woken me up, he held forth on his idea which he is spreading with evangelical zeal among many young people.

I of course told him that for me there are no mid week or end of the week holidays as every day is, or not, depending on how I want to treat it. He has some distance to go before he reaches there, but reach he will and before he does that, he wants to pass the baton on to younger zealots to pass on the message.

Since I find that he reads my blog posts, I want to share some other information with him. My long time readers know of my fascination with synchronicity and here it is at play again. Just last week I was reading an article on less number of working hours per week in the Economist which traces the history back to the philosopher Bertrand Russell and the economist Maynard Keynes. That article concludes that working less may actually be of benefit and thus Raman’s zeal is not all that bizarre!

In their marvelous book How Much is Enough?: Money and the Good Life, the father and son team of economist / philosopher Robert and Edward Skidelsky also talk about this idea in great detail and perhaps the time has come for this great idea of working less but more productively, to get the attention that it surely deserves.

18 thoughts on “A Mid Week Holiday.”

    1. That is one of Management’s major problems. Bodies can be bought, but minds lay unused and unrecognised. Where they are recognised and appreciated some remarkable things happen.

  1. Mid morning naps? You are sounding like an old man…. or are you out half the night misbehaving?

    Back in the days before I married, I worked for IBM. They frowned on people working longer than the statuary 9-5. In fact we were told that if we were unable to complete our work within those hours, we should ask if we were up to the job at all.

    A career is what you do for a liv­ing, it is not a life. It is just a job.”
    Grannymar recently posted..Thursday Special ~ The Market Maker

    1. Hello Grannymar, I also worked for IBM but my experienced was not that positive as yours. Long hours were something many people practiced even if their results did not improve with hours worked. I like your experience much better.

      1. Hello Anna, My days with IBM were back in the mid 1970s. I worked hard within the required hours with a wonderful team, yet had plenty of time to have a social life outside the office. When I left, the job was changed, and the work divided between two people. I have many happy memories of those days.
        Grannymar recently posted..Old Oak

  2. My days were never long enough. I don’t know why I worked so long and hard. Well, yes I do. Never felt good enough. Felt like a fraud and terrified “they” would find out and leave me penniless under a bridge with my children in fostercare.

    yes, that’s the truth.

    it should be engraved on my tombstone.

    wisewebwoman recently posted..A New Pair of Glasses

  3. I’ve been saying for a long time that nobody should have to work more than four days a week. Two days is not enough to recharge one’s batteries and be ready for more work. But it seems things are going in the opposite direction and more and more people find they are working six days a week just to keep up with their workload.
    nick recently posted..Forced to love

  4. Thank you, Ramana, for bringing this point. It is sad to see clever people working themselves silly with all the best of intentions and expectations. I perhaps was not free of such behaviour myself.
    I vaguely remember somebody quoting Bertrand Russell saying something about working long hours as being a humiliation .

  5. When I’m homebased, which is usually most of the “week” – I often don’t even know which named day it is; let alone the time and will just go with my personal flow. I just went out this arvo (it’s Sunday) and found that the library was already closed and some of the cafes in the Mall had the sale foods out to buy…I hadn’t thought it was getting that late (i.e. after 4) – nevermind I ended up with a couple of nice cakes for 1/2 price 🙂
    Cathy in NZ recently posted..It’s after week 6!

  6. I didn’t realize till Ramana picked my call,
    1. that he was in his mid-morning nap, and
    2 that he was indisposed.
    His voice, suggested he was feeling miserable, felt sorry, I disturbed him, yet he spoke to me for a couple of minutes, for which I really appreciate. I trust you he is feeling better now.
    It’s the first day of another new week, (am usually @ work five days a week @ around 8.15 AM and in hindsight with the mid-week holiday, I really felt the week that went by, slipped like lightning grease), I’ve been @ my desk for well over an hour, and have finished reading through my official mails, and after I have put in the pipeline what other’s have to follow through or get back to me on, I then checked my personal mail and I found one from you, along with a few others. i quickly finished through all the other and got on to one from you. I read through the whole piece including what Bertrand Russell had to say in that study which you provided as a link.
    It was the biggest surprise in recent times, and thanks for making me the center piece of your blog posting. You’ve gone on to call me an “evangelist” i wish I really cold turn out to be that some day, and who knows it might one day become a reality, especially with flexi timings especially in the IT sector, people who work on product deliverables who work on meeting the final deadline, and of course milestones as they go by. They can easily pace themselves just packing those extra few hours each day.
    I recall that there are no mid-week or end of the week holidays as every day is, and you are absolutely right, when you say how it turns out to be depends entirely on how you want to treat it. I really don’t know still how far i am away from this, but what keeps me going is that I am enjoying what I am involved doing and hardly feel it tedious, so I thought I should continue. The moment I feel the challenges no longer there, I’ll call it quits and do exactly what you are. But once again i must repeat, a mid-week off day will certainly boost productivity, and if people who are into Employee engagement practices, please take note of this, it can be a good motivating factor.

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