Work less, live more.

I was walking my dog on a cold Friday morning recently and my neighbor was shoveling his icy walk. He told me he was home for the morning because of his daughter’s song concert at school. Otherwise, he told me, he’d be working.

I wanted to tell him, your daughter’s song recital isn’t an excuse to miss work, it’s a reason to miss work!

It’s not that working is bad. Working is good, making money is good, and working to make money is important. It’s how you get to go to Italy once in a while and meet Italians and eat pasta and drink red wine, which in my humble opinion, is really important for humans to do.

But how you work to make money is even more important.

I love the book 168 Hours by Laura Vanderkam. I talk about it often, mostly because of it’s wonderfully simple and life-affirming premise: With a little planning, you can spend time doing the things you want to do without having to make sacrifices. Or excuses.

It’s a beautiful and dangerous freedom. And it’s at the heart of being a UDOT.


When you’re a UDOT you get to spend a ton of time not working, if that’s how you plan your days. But you also need to take advantage of your flexibility, to make the most of every second when you are working, whether it’s at 2 AM at your kitchen table, on a Sunday in your jammies between sections of the New York Times, or in the middle of the day at your co-working space.

Working less is awesome. So is making money. If you like to do both–I know I do–make the very most of the time you work, so you can go to the aforementioned Italy once in a while. Maybe more. It’s a big country and there are endless places to drink wine and eat pasta.

This has been a public service announcement from the Bureau of Working Less As Long As You’re Mostly Working Your Ass Off So You Can Make Enough Money To Go To Italy Every Once In A While.