There’s nothing wrong with good honest work to meet our needs but we’ve been duped into doing more than our fair share and here’s why:
- History is littered with societies and groups that easily met their needs with a fraction of the time we have to devote to paid work today .
- In pre-industrial and industrial times, we have been convinced by various powerful individuals and organisations that we need to work long hours .
- The standard workweek has been 40 hours since World War Two even though each worker on average can now produce far more goods .
- In 1973 and 1974 in Britain when the workweek was shortened to 3 days (in response to severe energy shortages), the country’s productivity basically remained the same .
Being frugal can actually enable you to save more, work less and free up your time for the things you care about. Here’s what working less can look like:
- Working 3 or 4 days a week instead of 5.
- Working 5 half days a week, e.g. do your paid work in the morning and use the afternoon for something you really want to do.
- Work for a period of time and take a period of time off, e.g. work for six months and take off six months to travel or volunteer on a project.
The benefits of working less
- You might start to enjoy your job more if it doesn’t eat up so much of your time.
- Working less often saves you money as you have less work related expenses.
- It frees up so much time for socialising, projects you love, learning something new or for whatever purpose that you see fit. You’re the boss.
- You’re helping to keep jobs available for others who need them.
- If you’ve ever dreamed of starting your own business, this is easier when you’ve got more time.
- There is a lot of important stuff needed to make the world a better place, stuff that isn’t always profitable but really important; what would the world look like if more of us had time to work on these things? 
How to work less
- Start by living like a Smart Renter, getting out of debt if you are in debt and then watch the savings add up.
- It may become clear that you could still save well even if you worked a day or two less each week.
- If your job offers the flexibility to work less, you can take advantage of this.
- If not, consider finding a more suitable job.
- Like some other lifestyle choices on Smart Renting, it might require some bigger changes to make this happen but in the long run it is absolutely worth it.
Further Reading: https://www.psychologytoday.com/au/blog/freedom-learn/200907/play-makes-us-human-v-why-hunter-gatherers-work-is-play  https://newrepublic.com/article/115927/productivity-taking-over-our-lives
 This graph here shows, as an example that US productivity has risen 11 fold since 1940 when the 40 hour work week became US law, when factored in for population increase, the US has been able to produce 4.3 times as much:https://www.nytimes.com/1974/04/24/archives/britains-3day-week-special-to-the-new-york-times-economy-stood-up.html
 As some simple examples; people who knit to decorate sign posts, people who work to rejuvenate a section of a creek, people who visit the elderly to give them an opportunity to socialise. This kind of work is not profitable in narrow economic terms but does that mean it should be ignored?
At the other extreme, some work is profitable (due to perverse government subsidies) yet causes great damage to people and the environment and doesn’t contribute to our wellbeing. Wouldn’t it be better to reduce paid work in this area and retrain the affected workers to do paid work that is much better for us all?