"Work Less and Play More" by Steven Catlin (Kimberlite Publishing) is a "how-to" guide to working less and playing more.

It is not an academic discussion of the value of leisure or the global issues surrounding consumption and overwork.

Rather, it is a guide to how you personally can reduce your consumption, build up your "Personal Treasury" and end up having more leisure time.

Catlin will challenge you to think about your purchases and decide how many are truly necessities and how many truly provide pleasure to you, versus how many are based on Tradition, Guilt or Ego.

He challenges some of the most sacred "Tradition Purchases", most notably:

1) Owning a house
2) Having children
3) Owning a pet (especially a dog)
4) Having a dependent (rather than independent) spouse

He does not tell you these are "bad purchases". Instead, he asks you to take the time to reflect on why you are planning these acquisitions. If you do, he believes, you may be surprised to find that you would be happier without some of them. And, the world may be happier without you having them.

He repeatedly emphasizes the idea of Consequence Costs: The time and the money that your possessions extract from you long after they are paid for. The cost of the dog is not the $50 purchase price, but the time it takes to walk it and feed it and the money spent on food and vet bills.

If you truly get pleasure from your dog, your sports car, your boat or your children, by all means go and have them and count them in the Pleasure Purchase category. Just be sure to be honest with yourself, he warns.

Some of these acquisitions are made early in life. Catlin gives tips on how to minimize the impact of past mistakes while avoiding future mistakes.

He puts less emphasis on the "how-to" of working less than on the "how-to" of reducing consumption and time thievery.

The idea is that if one has enough money and investments accumulated by saving rather than spending, then it is possible to take extended leaves without pay.

It is not necessary to quit working altogether, unless that is your goal. But it is possible to work fewer hours or to take breaks of months or years at a time at a job or between jobs, with proper planning.

This book will definitely get you to think about your values and lifestyle in detail while giving you concrete tips on how to achieve a lifestyle that lets you truly enjoy the fruits of your labor.

I recommend this book whether you are looking for more leisure in your life or just to re-evaluate your current lifestyle.

The book is available from Amazon.com or directly from the publisher:
Kimberlite Publishing
P.O. Box 6334
Ventura, CA 93006
For $14 plus $1 shipping.

Robert Bernstein
Santa Barbara, CA
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[Shorter Work Time List Coordinator]