The longing for less is growing. Not just since Corona. What’s the point of working ourselves to the point of burnout just to create a standard of living that we can’t enjoy anyway due to time constraints? Is downshifting the new way to achieve a better work-life balance?
We already teach our children: work hard in school, and you’ll do well later. The dream of a prestigious job, a house, a garden, and a sailboat stubbornly persist in our minds – and we diligently pass it on. No sooner does the offspring start school than even the most relaxed go into gasps when the child brings home a grade that is not quite so much longed for. But isn’t it worth much more if the offspring enjoys life light-heartedly and hasn’t yet fallen into the performance trap?
And then you have to have time to just sit there and look in front of you. Maybe we should also start downshifting education right away in the course of the sustainability debate. Fewer possessions, more time. Less stress, healthier living. Let’s start with ourselves: Do I want to work until I drop, or can I do less job, more life?
What is downshifting anyway?
Translated, “downshifting” means as much as “switching down”. Downshifters deliberately want to cut back on their professional activities, reduce their working hours or give up management positions. Downshifting as a kind of minimalism at work – in favour of free time, interests or family.
All part-time – and who pays the pension?
The number one bellyache argument for downshifting is probably retirement planning… For collecting money points on the pension account, reduced working hours are an absolute killer. For mothers (more than two-thirds work part-time) – and of course, for all others who already work in reduced working models – it is advisable to make additional private provisions. So for the time being, savings have to be made elsewhere – in lifestyle, if that permits.
How can downshifting work?
1. Downshifting means more than just ‘working less’. The first rule is to prioritize. Be clear about what you want more or less of in your life. So, if you aren’t ready to take up working (and that’s normal), think about planning your working time more effectively or taking a day free just for family or hobbies, playing on the Spinia gambling platform or walking with your dog.
2. Downshifting entails minimalism and sustainability. If we focus on the basics, superfluous things usually fall away. Consume less, throw away less, and live more consciously. We have minimalism tips for beginners to help you do this.
3. Healthy egoism is good for us. The hamster wheel often looks like a career from the inside, but it has the same effect on everyone: it is draining. If you keep your feet still more often and think about yourself, you’ll come up with new ideas, and be more rested and more reflective. The overtime account is not an unofficial medal for superheroism.
4. Try a sabbatical. Special leave, unpaid time off, salary sacrifice, part-time, work credits – many models allow for time off at work. Simply talk to your HR department/boss about what is possible. But please prepare wisely, such a plan is not always met with enthusiasm.
So, there are many ideas on how to combine the concept of downshifting with your everyday life.