Who has never wished to step off the ever-accelerating treadmill of work, just to gain some kind of balance in life? Downshifting is a practical, hands-on guide that actually shows how to move from the fast track to a more satisfying, healthier, less work-focused lifestyle. John Drake, himself a former high-level executive who chose to downshift, details a wide range of realistic, doable alternatives to a work-dominated life. He guides readers through all they need to know and do to make a good living, yet find more free time for themselves and those they care most about. Organized by level of risk-from such low-risk steps as simply changing work style to bold actions, such as flextime, lateral or downward moves, and shortened work weeks-this book is the first to really show how to put specific downshifting options into action. Using real-life stories of people who have successfully downshifted, Drake reveals how to get past the wistful dreaming and hand-wringing stages to taking decisive, thoughtful steps for implementing real change in your work-life. Step by step, the author walks the potential downshifter through all the stages of preparation, from examining personal fears and psychological readiness for change to analyzing the impact on loved ones and personal finances. And for those ready to initiate downshifting changes, he provides practical strategies and specific guidelines for selling downshifting plans to the organization, including vital information for determining the approach, timing, and presentation of a downshift proposal. Should the organization reject your downshifting plan, Drake shows how to leave bridges unburned, regroup, and wisely assess your alternatives. For readers just beginning to contemplate a work-life change or those eager to downshift, Downshifting provides the guidance, tools, encouragement, and proof needed to create a more balanced, relaxed, and fulfilling life.