Mike Davies, Editor-in-Chief Ω
I often wish — as many of you likely do, as well — that there should be more time in a day. I have too much to do and it always takes longer than it should because, well, to be honest, I take as long to do things as I have time to accomplish them.
I have arrived at a solution to this problem — and it doesn’t even involve slowing the rotation of the planet — and that solution is the Daviesian Calendar.
Instead of figuring out how to have more hours in a day, we are about to have fewer. This may sound counterintuitive, but just stay with me for a minute.
Each day in the Daviesian Calendar is 21 hours long and there are eight of them in a week. Everything else remains the same (months are the same length, years are still numbered by the same system, etc.), we have simply added one day and shortened all of them to make room for it.
That day is called Placiday (pronounced plah-sid-ay).
Named from the Latin word placidus, meaning “gentle, quiet, still, calm, mild, peaceful,” according to our old friend Wikipedia, Placiday will be used to accomplish nothing. It will be used to recuperate from all the accomplishing you did over the rest of the week.
You wouldn’t be able to accomplish anything on Placiday even if you wanted to. You see, no one is allowed to work on Placiday. You cannot go to the store for groceries, because no one is there to sell them to you. You cannot go to the petting zoo, or to a hockey game (as none will be scheduled on Placidays) or to a restaurant for dinner.
You could, however, read a book (provided you owned that book already, as you could not purchase it that day), watch television (there would be no news or other live broadcasts, though), surf the Internet (as long as you’re happy with content created at least the day before) or just nap the day away.
“Human beings aren’t designed to expend energy continuously. Rather, we’re meant to pulse between spending and recovering energy,” according to an article entitled “Relax! You’ll Be More Productive,” published in a February 2013 New York Times.
Various studies have suggested (and continue to build on the notion) that working fewer hours actually improves work performance, because people work more efficiently when they are engaged and let’s face it, it’s hard to stay engaged for the extended periods demanded by employers (and some educators).
As I said earlier, I generally take as long to do things as I have. It’s not procrastination (well, not always), it’s that I work right up until deadlines to improve whatever it is I’m doing and make it the best it can be.
I’ve seen myself the advantages to taking time to myself — I’ve spoken of this on more than a few occasions in this column — and how I work more efficiently when I have less time. I often leave my office before I’ve accomplished my “to do” list for the day, knowing that despite that act leaving me more on my plate for the following day, I will be better able to accomplish it all if I have the proper time to recuperate and refresh.
So while the Daviesian Calendar is likely a pipe-dream — it would take literally everyone on the planet to buy in for it to work — I again urge you to consider what it stands for.
If you can take time periodically to avoid being “on” and “accomplishing” things, you’ll be better off.
Even huge multinational corporations (you know, the ones who we generally agree don’t actually care about the well-being of the individuals in their ranks) have realized this.
Best Buy, for example, has seen a 35 per cent increase in productivity in departments that have switched to a “results only work environment” at their head office in Minnesota, a system that sees people drifting in and out of the office whenever they want, working when they feel most productive rather than on predetermined schedules.
If massive corporations are moving to this, what’s keeping you on the metaphorical hamster wheel?
Take a Placiday once in a while.