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If you didn't have to work, how would you spend your time?

Imagine all your basic needs are covered: housing, food, healthcare, and so on. You don’t need to work for a living anymore. What would you do with your time?

I know this might sound like a bit of a dreamy question, but it’s been on my mind lately, especially as I see so many people working tirelessly day and night. Perhaps it’s time for us to slow down and reflect on what truly matters. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!

PiecePractical ,

Depends on why/how my needs are being met I suppose. If this is a post-scarcity situation where everyone’s needs are met and no one has to work, I’d probably keep at my current job. I install and repair nurse call systems (the buttons you push in a hospital to tell the staff you need help) I mostly enjoy the work and someone is going to have to keep doing it. I live in a town with a huge hospital and could easily keep busy without leaving town.

If this situation where only my own basic needs are met and not everyone else’s, I wouldn’t keep going to that job. Management is kind of a pain and they can certainly afford to train someone who needs the work. I’d still fix whatever kind of shit I knew how to because honestly, I love working with a wrench but, I’d be doing it freelance at that point. I’d probably start by knocking on the doors of local machine shops, fixing machine tools and lasers was more fun than nurse call and if I wasn’t tied to one specific brand, I could probably keep busy without driving 4 hours a day (I quit that job because I was tired of travel). If that took off, I’d try to turn it into a business and train someone to pick up the slack so I could still take the occasional vacation without leaving regular customers hanging. If that wasn’t enough to keep even just me busy, I’d probably start asking around about other random shit that needed to be fixed. Lots of people deal with broken shit because they can’t afford to fix it and if I was only looking to stave off boredom, not having to make a profit, I could probably get it done affordably.

technopagan ,

In no particular order:

  • Finally do those after-class reading + tutoring sessions for kids in my daughter’s school.
  • Sign up for shifts on the “Good-Night-Bus” in my local town that looks after homeless people during night-time.
  • Play hand-pan, guitar & other random instruments at local relaxation spots to add to the overall atmosphere of "the good life"
  • regularly offer my handymen skills to my neighborhood via local web-platform and also contribute to “Repair-Cafés” as a helping hand
  • Find a local community-garden project to help out at so that the city stays 0.1% greener than without me
  • Offer my yet-currently-relevant professional skills (Frontend / WebPerf / CDNs / DevOps) to a NGO that couldn’t usually afford my wages (again: preferably something relevant to my region to feel a sense of impact)
  • Keep maintaining my OpenSource repositories and publish new ideas ASAP to prevent Software Patents
pineapplelover ,

I think I’d still work because it makes me feel useful to society.

timeisart ,

under capitalism or an alternative?

makeasnek , avatar

I would work full time on contributing code and development efforts to !boinc , which is a software used by scientists to distribute massive computational workloads to the computers of volunteers for processing. All sorts of medical, physics, and math research gets done through it.

AgentGrimstone ,

Aside from being lazy and playing video games all day, I would like to learn new skills. I always said I wanted to try woodworking. A lot of my current skills involve being on a computer so I would like at least one that involves tools and using my hands.

sajran ,

Software development and computer stuff in general is my passion. I enjoy doing it as a hobby even after doing it at work. If I didn’t have to work for money, I would probably work on some open source software. In fact that’s kinda my dream / goal - achieve financial independence and work on open source as I please.

ristoril_zip ,

If this is a transition from how I live now to never needing to work again, I’m guessing the first 6 months to a year would just be disbelief and slacking. Video games, TV/YouTube, etc.

I’d probably do more of the things I do with my limited off time: gardening, taking care of family & pets, taekwondo.

Honestly have no idea what I’d do once I became accustomed to it. Maybe travel? Participate in local politics more? Volunteer? I would definitely have a sense that I needed to do something to make my life “worth it” that I currently get from working to provide for my family.

It’s definitely a result of conditioning, not some fundamental truth of the universe. But nearly 50 years of that conditioning is hard to break overnight.

cordlesslamp ,

10 hours/day on YT and Netflix


Existential dread




(In no particular order).

Etterra ,

Minus the existential dread most of the time, plus a constant lack of any hope whatsoever but same. Oh and don’t forget my eight fucking medications daily, and a few more less often or as needed. And therapy of course. And having regular suicidal/death centric thoughts.

So you have trouble falling asleep and waking up too? That part is fun too.

SendMePhotos ,

I’d love to say being productive, learning languages, helping the communities, doing good deeds, exploring the world, trying to fix the wrongs… But as of this moment, the above comment is the realistic answer.

jecht360 , avatar

Hike the entirety of the AT and the PCT.

Go bikepacking more frequently. Or go on a months long trip.

Make art - photography, digital art, linocut.

Help friends and family with projects.

That’s the short version. There are so many possibilities once you remove the need to be tied to a job/computer for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. I would love to have the freedom to simply not work. I don’t want to be rich, I just want to be able to exist without having to work.

orgrinrt ,

There’s plenty of work right there. Art is work. Training is work.

It’s not that you’d want to live without work.

It’s that you’d want to do work important and meaningful to you.

No need to undermine it.

phoenixz ,

Spending time with my wife

Working on open source projects

Learning new skills, musical instruments

Practicing karate

Spending time with my wife

golden_zealot , avatar

I’d go to school and take every course I possibly could for the rest of my life or until I couldn’t.

blarth ,

I haven’t worked for almost a year. Mostly, I wake up, play video games, eat, and do some work around the house. There are pretty bad days where I feel worthless and tell myself pretty negative stories, but I’ve gotten much better at ignoring them. Now, I’ll be going back to work soon, and I’m terrified of losing my total free time.

Gradually_Adjusting , avatar

Go on long walks with a litter bag cleaning parks etc while listening to books and music. Get really in shape. Cook every meal for my family. Write fiction. Get involved in helping local political movements. Attend more protests.

Trollivier ,

They’re would be a lot of time involved in bettering my community. Also a lot of trips and hobbies.

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