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WHY I work 4 days a week

It's my way of living an intentional & productive life

My schedule is quite full to the brim these days. My days are packed with coaching appointments and evenings are occupied with teaching & learning engagements. This is by no means a complaint. I'm screaming inside with joy for real. This is exactly what I've been working towards. Being fully booked is LITERALLY part of my vision board for 2023.

You may see this board more often than you'd like. 😆

But no matter how packed and busy my schedule is, come Thursday evening, I tear myself away from my desk, and I'm off to a three-day weekend. Amazingly, I do this every week because I only work four days a week.

What? Yes, I know. It's pretty damn sweet indeed. 😎


Now, I'm not here to brag. Believe me. You and me both. This concept of not working full five days seemed ridiculous and impossible at first. This was especially true now that I was my own boss partnering with many businesses and clients on billable hours, a.k.a. no salary that gets automatically dropped in my bank account every month. Working one less day basically meant a loss of income. A big chunk of it! Even as I was reading many productivity gurus' writings about 4-day work week, it never occurred to me that it applied to me.

But then there comes the time when I would feel like I was not making enough money considering the hours and the efforts I put in. This sometimes-subtle-sometimes-extremely-demoralizing resentment wasn't new in my entrepreneurship. It actually began in my corporate days. I went through several jobs where I felt I was shortchanged, and it wasn't because my salary was low. It was the mindset that I had. I devoted myself to delivering the targets and worked night and day to make magic happen for the business, and the return wasn't proportional. WTH.

Luckily, it took an adventurous ride of finding my life purpose and trying to align my life with it that got me to realize working a lot is not the same as being productive. Now, I have fundamentally shifted my mindset and believe that being productive doesn't always show in the money you make or the results you create. It's really about the process, how you take the journey and how you view the world around you.


Those of you who have come face-to-face with a life-threatening disease or unexpected disasters or hardships know that life can be fleeting. No matter what you believe, the universal truth is that you just don't know where and how far life will take you. A non-smoking, healthy-eating, disciplined triathlete could end up with an unmanageable terminal cancer. Or a teacher of 3rd graders may suddenly become a war refugee or even a combat soldier as the volatile region is at war. People lose jobs overnight constantly these days. I'm not being hyperbolic. Just look around you. Watch the news. (Do so at your own risk 'cause I'm not responsible for the subsequent potential emotional damage or subconscious brainwashing. 🤷‍♀️)

I myself am going through a sobering experience of witnessing the changes in my dementia-struck father. Before the diagnosis, his neverending grief was that he was foolish to lose his wealth and status in his silver years. He was a bitter old cynic - probably some of it was the onset of dementia - and as he got older, he became filled with resentment and endless complaints. He completely forgot to enjoy life or how to have fun or smile. But he was terribly fond of his brothers and sisters who went through thick and thin with him in his younger days. Life is indeed curious because it's now taking away the only thing that was left for him: his memory. Of his youth, of his family and his brothers and sisters, of the incredible life he did live through, no matter what he thought of it in the end. So there's one lesson he did teach me: Do not live life with such cynicism and anger.


Which brings us to, yes. Joy! When I first came across Marie Kondo on a TV show, who ever so gently encouraged us to fill our houses with only the things that spark joy, I thought she lived in La La Land. But I've learned since that I've been endowed with a lot of scars from personal and generational trauma that kept me in the box of working hard now and enjoying life later upon reaching a certain wealth or status, whenever that may be.

Well, f---- that.

This is sorta the snapshot of the finest version of my kinda adventure. This or diving 28m under water will suffice as well.

At one point, I decided that I was going to actively invite fun and adventure in my life. And I'm not talking about the kind of fun and adventure I used to have that accompanied intoxication, instant gratification, and escape from reality. I want to experience, see and feel life for what it is, for all that is, raw as it may be, in utter sobriety without any filter. I didn't see this for a long time, but I now see that life is beautiful and has much to offer us. Living, experiencing and accepting life AS IS is joyful in itself. And to do this, I need to make time for it.

There's no such thing as being too busy

We often think time is something we're given. But it is also something we create. You have all the power and freedom to make time for the things that are truly important in your life. For me, it includes a lot of self-care, human connection and addressing curiosity, like taking Friday mornings to get a hair & scalp spa treatment - get your scalp health right y'all -, or practicing hand lettering, or hanging with fine human beings around me, but not too many at a time, or attending to a book club at an independent bookstore, or going scuba diving, or goofing with my kitties or zenning out on my succulents or hanging with my seventy-something-year-old mama, who's a real G in her own right. I can think of a few more things I'd like to try in the future as we speak.

knowing what you want from your life helps

Of course, knowing what you want from your life and from yourself definitely helps in the process. I know these are big questions and you may need to get help from a professional like me to figure it out. DM me or leave comments! 🙏❤️


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Joonyoung Kim is a Productivity & Leadership Coach based in Korea. She is passionate about helping businesswomen redesign productivity so that they can spend their time and energy on things that matter the most while creating a thriving business. She's certified by ICF, Co-Active Training Institute & Leadership Circle and partners with Ezra Coaching, Leadership Circle and Coachdot as an executive coach. For private clients, she coaches in English or Korean on Zoom across time zones.

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