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Home » Rethinking Time: Why A 4-Day Work Week Is The Future of Work: Dale Whelehan (Transcript)

Rethinking Time: Why A 4-Day Work Week Is The Future of Work: Dale Whelehan (Transcript)

Here is the full transcript of Dale Whelehan’s talk titled “Rethinking Time: Why A 4-Day Work Week Is The Future of Work” at TEDxUoChester conference.

Listen to the audio version here:


“I don’t have enough time,” or so the old saying goes. Across generations, we have been obsessed with time and understanding how best we can use it. Today, I’m going to tell you the story of three men and their experiences with time: my father, his father, and the father of modern philosophy, René Descartes. We’ve seen rapid changes in our world from the 17th century all the way up to the 21st, but still, a fascination exists with how we spend our time.

The Case for Time

The case I’m going to make to you today is that spending time and how we use it is fundamental to true human happiness and health. In order to be able to do that, I’m going to bring you back to the 1600s, before the Enlightenment era, when René Descartes was writing prose about the need for us to doubt everything.

For us to access our truest potential within society, we must doubt as far as possible all things. What Descartes was talking about was that there was an unlocked human potential within us that we have yet to uncover. “It is not enough to have a good mind; the main thing is to use it well.” Despite these doubts, we still yearn for a better version of ourselves. We eat kale, we drink gallons of water, we sleep for eight hours, we breathe with purpose, and that’s just to get by.

The Changing World of Work

What Descartes couldn’t have predicted is that in the 21st century, not only would it be a nice thing to have to use our minds well but a requirement. The world of work has changed so dramatically. We innovate, we create, we are producing mass amounts of product, often to the detriment of the world around us, and we are now in a situation where the world is burning around us, and in the process, we are burning out too.

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