#34 The 3 day week for freelancers isn’t what you think…

  • Why you aren’t ready for a 3 day workweek.
  • The x3 things you need for your ideal lifestyle
  • What to do when you feel lost
😍 Something I'm grateful for this week

So you want to work a 3 day workweek? But are you sure you're even ready for it...

“😡 Fuck you!”

The girl across the table shouts at me but I can hardly hear her over the music,
so I’m not entirely sure if she’s serious or not.

I was at an engagement party, trying to explain what I do to a couple who both had day jobs in knowledge work:
A freelance set designer, and a project manager at a video game company.

“Well, erm, I design 3 days of the week, the rest I write or walk and build stuff in the garden”

“3 days?”

“yeah, approx”

“Fuck you!”

So that was the response I got when I said I usually wrap up work by 1pm every day.
But when I talk about the 3 day work week it often gets misinterpreted.
A 3 day week isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Everyone is fascinated by the idea of 3 day workweek.
A lot of people think I’m just lazy.
Some of them think I’m full of shit.
Most say that it isn’t possible.

That’s fine,
I no longer feel the need to disprove them.
They don’t see how hard I’ve worked,
or how hard I still work.

It’s not about how hard you work anyway, it’s about what you work on, and how you work on it.

Many of us are are still programmed into thinking that you have to work set hours, or separate your work and life,
or that you “stop” working at 5pm because that’s the time you stop working.
Most people aren’t ready to accept 80% of their day could be eliminated.

So I’m shining some transparency on this right now:

A 3 day week only works if you have x3 things first:

  • 💥 A 3 day week only works if you’re willing to work a lot harder than most for a few years first, so you can build leverage
  • 💥 A 3 day week only works if you have enough leverage to free up your time.
  • 💥 A 3 day week only works if you have a strong sense of your purpose, so you can fill your free time with meaning.

It’s no coincidence that the programme I teach is built around these 3 pillars:

  • 1️ Build leverage = (money)
  • 2️ free up your time = (freedom)
  • 3️ fill your time with purpose = (purpose)

For a long time I was trapped in a depressing cycle.

  • 🔴 Wake up tired.
  • 🔴 Trade my best hours for money.
  • 🔴 Spend money I earned on things I didn’t need.
  • 🔴 Get home and fail to catch up on life admin.
  • 🔴 Pretend to rest with Netflix binge while doomscrolling.
  • 🔴 Go to bed wired & tired at the same time.
  • 🔴 Repeat.

This is what I escaped.
If you work for yourself, you’re one of the lucky ones.
Now you can CHOOSE.

I still have hard days.
I still have doubts, and problems.
I still have crunch times and working weekends.
But the difference is that even on my darkest days,
I know I’ve chosen my own problems.

I’d much rather fail at my own thing,
than waste my life building someone else’s.

So I’m 100% advocating working for yourself,
and if you work for yourself I’m 100% recommending cutting your workweek in half.

We should all make more time to enjoy life.
But it has limits…
It’s hard to make good choices consistently.

If you work for yourself, most of the stuff you’re doing right now doesn’t need to be done, or could be automated.

I run Design Hero, my design agency, which takes me about 24hours a week.
but if you’ve taken my lifestyle design workshop,
then you’ll know the hours are spread across the week.

When I first whittled my week down to 3 days I did what you’d expect:
I mostly bummed about.
I played a lot of video games.
For a while I was eeven one of the top 50 ranked players on Dirt Rally worldwide 🤣

It was great! for a while….

But then I got kicked right in the nuts with an existential crisis. 🥜
I had enough money to live comfortably & didn’t feel the need to aimlessly accumulate more.
I had free time, but nothing meaningful to fill it with.

So I became bored and antsy and burned out.
YES, burned out and bored at the same time!

You see, burnout is not just related to overwork, it can also be caused by lack of purpose.

I needed something to build.
I needed a challenge.

So I started Life by Design to teach freelancers how to follow the same path,
to build the kind of business that puts life first,
and to design a lifestyle with purpose, wealth and freedom

(except without the kick in the nuts. Mostly. A little bit of nut-kicking is unavoidable if you want to tackle lifestyle change.) 😅

24 hours a week I’m doing Design Hero,
The rest I’m reading, walking, writing,
falling deeply into the zone of full stack creator, building in public.

It’s hard work. It’s the uncertainty and sometimes agony of creation, iteration, reflection and rejection.
It doesn’t make much money. But it feels right.
I’m helping people. It gives me purpose.

I still take a Friday to think, read, build things in the garden.
I call it a self day.
But Friday is the MOST important day of all.

So if you think halving your workweek means bingeing Netflix all day…


Certain people aren’t meant to sit still.

If this is you, be sure you have something meaningful to fill the rest of your time.
This is why it’s so important to actually sit and think about your life, your goals, your daily schedule.

What do you want your day to look like?
Now reverse engineer that into a daily schedule fit for a solopreneur.
Then make it happen,
one day at a time.

If you are one of these people…

If you’re fed up of sitting still,
and you feel like you were meant for more,
I’m taking on a few more students for Life by Design.

I’ll teach you how to design your lifestyle first,
to reverse engineer your life and work around a daily schedule with freedom baked in,
then scale it all up without burnout.

You can book your first call

highlights 1to1 call

Ready to cut your workweek in half?.

book your first call with me and I'll help you figure out your roadmap to your ideal lifestyle.

P.S if you ever feel lost…

Start building.

Business, buildings, gardens, books, friendships, lego.

It doesn’t matter what. Just find a project 👇🏻

if you feel lost, pick a project to give you purpose

Ready to cut your workweek in half?.
subscribe for instant access.

💡 Key Insights for solopreneurs

Some people aren’t meant to sit still. Make sure you fill your time with meaningful projects,
otherwise your time will be filled with shallow meaningless distractions.

🛎️ Daily reminder for solopreneurs

If you don’t schedule downtime in your day,
it won’t happen.

💥 How to take action in the next 5 mins

1️⃣ Build leverage = (money)
2️⃣ free up your time = (freedom)
3️⃣ fill your time with purpose = (purpose)

Picture of Nicholas Robb

Nicholas Robb

Founder, Design Hero
Author of Life by Design

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