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September 29, 2021
October 22, 2021

Is 'always on' a good thing?

Do you never feel as if you have enough time for yourself?

Be careful what you wish for because there may be a limit to how much free time is good for us.

Researchers analysed data from two large surveys on how Americans use their time and found that both too little and too much leisure time were associated with reduced wellbeing.

So what’s the sweet spot? Between about 2.5 and 5 hours a day apparently.

However, it’s not always simply endless hours of leisure time that make people feel worse, it’s what they do with it. Filling those empty hours with productive activities helps.

Which might excuse us those of us who feel it impossible to completely switch off, for whom sprinkling a little work throughout their leisure time – for example taking a quick look at their emails when lying on a beach – actually makes them feel more relaxed than the thought of tackling an overflowing inbox when they get home.

Is this you?

The rise of the ‘non-holiday holiday’

Once upon a time Sue from accounts was either at her desk or away on annual leave. There would be a big countdown to the big summer break, and more often than not a bit of a comedown once it was all over.

Now those lines are blurred, which means that Sue might never completely switch off, or back on again. But it might not be as bad as it sounds.

Perhaps it’s just that now we can really analyse what makes us happy in our own individual ways, and create a life to suit us?

Just as the perfect job might not be 9-5, the perfect holiday might not be pure, unadulterated 14-day relaxation.

The same goes for ‘retirement’, which is fast becoming an outdated concept.

Hybrid work, hybrid life, hybrid retirement?

As Tom Skinner of Barnaby Cecil says, maybe the future of retirement is simply to continually remove the elements of work you dislike?

Shameless plug

I had a lovely chat with Cathi Harrison and Jo Campbell of the Verve Group for a live episode of That Mint Podcast last month about the challenges of marketing financial services. Watch here.

Simple hack

Delete hundreds of emails from Gmail at once by typing "Label:all mail" into the search bar. The row of filters will enable you to narrow down your search to emails you want to get rid of.

Article of last week

Hell is other people: a monk’s guide to office life. From the fourth century, monks had to give up their flexi-work freedoms and flood into monasteries. Some lessons for us all here perhaps?

Gogo gadget

Get virtual yoga with Zenia’s app which uses AI motion-tracking technology on your phone and live audio feedback to correct postures as a live teacher would.

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