Sunday, February 12, 2012

9-5, 5-9

A Thought Experiment.

The 9-5; 9-5 Scenario.

We all need about 8 hours of sleep a day. Quote whatever scientific resource you want, I don't expect that you'd encounter much resistance to that statement. But what if we didn't need to take those eight hours all at once?

Not a novel idea, I admit, but certainly one worth considering. I don't propose some extreme solution like 20 minute power naps every hour or intermittent siestas, but lets toy with the concept of 9-5.

Everyone works the same 9am-5pm grind, whether you get up a bit earlier or leave work a little later isn't really relevant. We get up too early, we commute to work. We arrive sometime in the morning and we work till sometime in the night. We go home and think about going back to work. Our lives are chained to some vision of the part we play. We sell the daytime to the gods of productivity.

Meanwhile, we fit into a few general boxes; here are two of them. The first box is for the worker who tires too all-consumingly from his work. He gets home and collapses, too fatigued to do more than eat, plug in for a bit, and then sleep restlessly in the hope of a recharge until his alarm forces him out of bed and back to work each morning. A second box is for that of the over-compensator. In this box you’ve got the guy who leaves work and goes out every night, quick to get into party mode and blast his way through his work-evenings, blowing off the steam withheld throughout the endless workday. We all pull energy from somewhere.

We’re active during work hours but generally a mess of wasted productivity for the rest of any given day. There’s 24 hours in a day, we are active from 9am-5pm and wasted from 5pm-9am. Wasted for 16 hours.

So we’ve sold out the daytime and drift through the night like zombified barbies. Consider this; we motion to live in a world where we may sell out the daytime, but we earn back the night.

In the 9-5; 9-5 scenario, the day’s schedule goes like this: 9am, wake up, go to work; 5pm, get home and into bed, go to sleep; 9pm, wake up, go out; 5am, get home and into bed; 9am, lather, rinse, repeat.

Weekends could work the same way, with 48 hours reserved for R&R at the end of every week. During this time, people would likely sleep for longer periods of time.

In the 9-5; 9-5 scenario, we are awake for 8 hours at a time, asleep for 4 hours in the interval. And the best part is, we still get 24 hours in the day, we are just active for 8 hours more of it. We have reclaimed those 8 nighttime hours. We may choose to use them to work another 8 hours, or to engage in a newfound leisure pursuit. Of course, in this scenario, all people in your culture are participants, and all the opportunities of the daytime, or perhaps more, or perhaps different, are available for your exploration after dark.

It may be the inspiration of one to use this additional 8 hours to explore a second profession/business or a time to double productivity in one particular profession/business. It may be the inspiration of another to follow a dream passion, pursuit, or hobby. Time for learning would be doubled, we would each get to know ourselves and each other better, and our people would certainly acquire new knowledge at faster rates.

It seems certain, then, that in the 9-5; 9-5 scenario, humanity will quickly surpass its own limits for wisdom and capacity for understanding forcing the collective consciousness of humanity to escape its visceral material form and ascend as one into a trans-dimensional sentience, free from the bonds of any physical existence.

So I think it would be cool to try.

J. S. Nacheman

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