Mention a shorter work week to anyone within earshot and no doubt you'll hear a resounding "Amen!" 1 in 9 Americans work 50+ hours per week as per The Center for a New American Dream. Compare that to 1 in 81 in Sweden and 1 in 152 in the Netherlands and it's no wonder so many of us are stressed-out and exhausted.

Working fewer days per week is not just something to dream about while you ought to be filing reports and crunching numbers. There are already employers switching to a 4-day work week model and others thinking about doing so. Why? The benefits are powerful and enhance the lives of employees and their employers as well.

A shorter work week is valuable to take into consideration if you're the boss and something to bring to the table with these 3 benefits to back you up if you'd like your company to take this notion seriously. 3 day weekend… here we come!

Better for Overall Health

When we're overworked, tired, and stressed, health inevitably takes a toll. As per Healthline, "Numerous reports and studies have shown that the expected pace put upon the U.S. workforce is to blame for many health issues that plague adults today. These include sleep issues, obesity, and an overall weakened immune system. Cut back the work week by a day, and we could see significant improvements in our physical and mental health."

With health issues like these so prevalent in our work-centric society, people are taking more and more sick days, or come into the office when they're not at their mental or physical best. Time isn't of value if the employee isn't able to produce as well as they want or are able to. This can lead to even more stress, creating bodily illness and mental strain – a vicious cycle.

That cherished extra day of free time clears the mind and allows the body to recuperate. Employees will have the chance to focus on themselves for 24 more hours so that while they're at work, they can give their all to the job at hand.

Greater Productivity

Even though the employee will be spending fewer days at the office, it's been shown that their work effort and output is actually higher with a 4-day work week. As per Joseph Chris Driving Business Connections, "Employees return to work more refreshed after a 3-day weekend. They even make it a point to work very hard during the compressed week, so that they will not lose the privilege of a four day work week system. When staff is pumped up to go back to work, they tend to be more productive. This results in more output and higher company revenue."

Employees appreciate this benefit and are more inclined to be sure everything is complete and done well so they can take full advantage of this arrangement. They are happier and more willing to work together to keep the system in place. This is a win-win for the employee and the higher-ups.

Plus, with this 4-day work week program, each day will include more hours in the office to compensate for the missed day. Therefore, as per WiseStep, "Because employees spend continuous hours at work, they do not miss the flow of work or get distracted to leave for home. They get enough time to complete the task in the same day rather than passing it off to the next day. 10-11 hours of work (per day) motivates the employee to finish the task the same day with full concentration."

Enhanced Work – Life Balance

Naturally, a 4-day work week allows for a better work – life balance. People can spend more time with their families and doing things they enjoy such as hobbies, exercise, and vacationing outside the office. As per The Center for a New American Dream, 59% of employees say their jobs do not leave them with enough time for themselves and 75% feel they do not have enough time with their kids. A 4-day work week system would surely change these percentages for the better.

Although you may get home later or need to head into work a bit earlier on the 4 work days, an entire full day of free time more than makes up for it. No interruptions and no work worries. Joseph Chris notes, "(A 3-day weekend) gives employees more relaxation time with family and friends, and whatever errands they were unable to do during the work week they can accomplish during the weekends. If anyone wants to escape the fast-paced life even just for a while, 3 days would be enough time to unwind and rejuvenate."

As far as the employer's benefit, Nevada Small Business notes, "You're likely to attract more highly qualified new hires who view the four-day week as a major lifestyle benefit. Plus, because of the longer work day, employees miss the standard morning rush hour, getting to work early and staying later. Less time in traffic – a big plus."

Who's not interested in a 3-day weekend? These 3 benefits are no-brainers and make sense for the worn-out worker. Let's all move to the 4/3 plan and improve health, wealth, and life in general!

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Over the past month, both Haiti and Afghanistan have been pummeled by tragic disasters that left devastation in their wake.

In Haiti, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake erupted, leading over to 2,189 deaths and counting. A few hours later, in Afghanistan, Kabul fell to the Taliban just after U.S. troops had pulled out after 20 years of war.

In many ways, these disasters are both chillingly connected to US interference. The United States invaded Haiti in 1915, ostensibly promising to restore order after a presidential assassination but really intending to preserve the route to the Panama Canal and to defend US creditors, among other reasons.

But the US forces soon realized that they were not able to control the country alone, and so formed an army of Haitian enlistees, powered by US air power and intended to quell Haitian insurrection against US controls. Then, in 1934, the US pulled out on its own, disappointed with how slow progress was going. Haiti's institutions were never really able to rebuild themselves, leaving them immensely vulnerable to natural disasters.

Something similar happened in Afghanistan, where the US sent troops and supported an insurgent Afghan army – only to pull out, abandoning the country they left in ruins, with many Afghans supporting the Taliban.

In both cases, defense contractors benefited by far the most from the conflict, making billions in profits while civilians faced fallout and devastation. While the conflicts and circumstances are extremely different and while the US is obviously not solely to blame for either crisis, it's hard not to see the US-based roots of these disasters.

Today, in Haiti and Afghanistan, civilians are facing unimaginable tragedy.

Here are charities offering support in Afghanistan:

1. The International Rescue Committee is looking to raise $10 million to deliver aid directly to Afghanistan

2. CARE is matching donations for an Afghanistan relief fund. They are providing food, shelter, and water to families in need; a donation of $89.50 covers 1 family's emergency needs for a month.

3. Women for Women International is matching donations up to 500,000 for Afghan women, who will be facing unimaginable horrors under Taliban control.


4. AfghanAid offers support for people living in remote regions of Afghanistan.

5. VitalVoices supports female leaders and changemakers and survivors of gender-based violence around the world.

Here are charities offering support in Haiti:

1. Partners in Health has been working with Haiti for a long time, and they work with the Department of Health rather than around them, which is extremely important in a charity.

2. Health Equity International helps run Saint Boniface Hospital, a hospital in Haiti close to the earthquake's epicenter.

3. SOIL is an organization based Haiti, "a local organization with a track record of supporting after natural disasters." They are distributing hygiene kits and provisions on the ground to hospitals and to victims of the earthquake.

4. Hope for Haiti has been working in emergency response in Haiti for three decades, and their team is comprised of people who live and work in Haiti. They focus on supporting children and people in need across Haiti.

via Tiffany & Co.

When the new Tiffany's campaign was unveiled, reactions were mixed.

Tiffany's, the iconic jewelry brand which does not (despite what some might be misled to believe) in fact serve breakfast, featured Jay Z, Beyoncé, and a rare Basquiat painting in their recent campaign.

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Road trips can be a lot of fun — but they can also drain your wallet quickly if you aren't careful.

From high gas costs and park admission fares to lodging and the price of eating out every night, the expenses can add up quickly. But at the same time, it's very possible to do road trips cheaply and efficiently. Without the headache of worrying about how much money you're leaking, you can enjoy the open road a whole lot more. Here's how to save money on a road trip.

1. Prepare Your Budget, Route, and Packing List in Advance

If you want to save money on a road trip, be sure you're ready to go. Try to count up all your expenses before you hit the road and create a budget. It's also a good idea to plan your route in advance so you don't end up taking unnecessary, gas-guzzling detours. And finally, be sure to pack in advance so you don't find yourself having to buy tons of things you forgot along the way.

2. Book Cheap Accommodations — Or Try Camping

All those motel rooms can add up surprisingly quick, but camping is often cheap or free, and it's a great way to get intimate with the place you're visiting. You can check the Bureau of Land Management's website for free campsites. Freecampsite.com also provides great information on If you don't have a tent or don't want to camp every night, try booking cheap Airbnbs or booking hotels in advance, making sure to compare prices.

Camping camping road tripConde Nast Traveler

If you're planning on sleeping in your car, a few tips: WalMart allows all-night parking, as do many 24-hour gyms. (Buying a membership to Planet Fitness or something like it also gives you a great place to stop, shower, and recharge while on the road).

3. Bring Food From Home

Don't go on a road trip expecting to subsist on fast food alone. You'll wind up feeling like shit, and it'll drain your pocketbook stunningly quickly. Instead, be sure to bring food from home. Consider buying a gas stove and a coffee pot for easy on-the-go meals, and make sure you bring substantial snacks to satiate midday or late night cravings so you can avoid getting those late night Mickey D's expeditions.

Try bringing your own cooler, filling it with easy stuff for breakfast and lunch — some bread and peanut butter and jelly will go a long way. Bring your own utensils, plates, and napkins, and avoid buying bottled water by packing some big water jugs and a reusable water bottle. Alternatively, try staying at hotels or Airbnbs with kitchens so you can cook there.

4. Avoid Tolls

Apps like Google Maps and Waze point out toll locations, so be sure to avoid those to save those pennies. (If it takes you too far off route, you might have to bite the bullet and drive across that expensive bridge).

You can also save on parking fees by using sites like Parkopedia.

Road Trip Road TripThe Orange Backpack


5. Save on Gas

Gas can get pricy incredibly fast, so be sure that you're stopping at cheap gas stations. Free apps like GasBuddy help you find the most affordable gas prices in the area. Also, try going the speed limit on the highways — anything faster will burn through your tank. Be sure that you don't wait till you arrive at touristy locations or big cities to fill up.

6. Get a National Park Pass

All those parks can get really expensive really fast. If you're planning on visiting three or more parks, it's a great idea to get an America the Beautiful National Parks Pass. For $80 you can get into every National Park for one year.