It’s been over a month since I left my nine to five (unplugging post, link here). I thought it would be worthwhile recapping what it’s been like.
The first thing I had to do was get a routine going. You can’t live in holiday mode forever. That’s something I’ll get onto a bit more later. I think that one of the measures of whether I/someone can succeed going their own way depends on how well you can give yourself structure. That can be tough especially since we have structure provided to us from birth: from parents, from school, from university and from the workplace.
I had a rough idea of how my routine would end up. This is what I settled on once the rubber met the road:
- Wake up (without an alarm) between 8 and 9 am
- Do one to two hours of work: check and respond to people on Twitter and emails; write up client notes; brainstorm ideas for blog posts; write and take notes for blog posts
- Go to the gym
- Do another one to two hours of work
- Do a few hours of Daygame or see my girlfriend
If I had infield coaching then I’d typically wake up, do a quick gym session and then go off to meet them. My aim was to do two to four hours of concentrated work a day whether that was on my laptop, on the phone or infield coaching.
When it comes to Daygame I can say that my vibe feels very clean. I have near zero AA (though of course there’s always a little trepidation). I don’t feel any pressure. If there are no good sets today I can always return tomorrow. The invisible rucksack and take-home stress of office life is behind me.
One thing I did have to wean myself off of was the belief that I needed to do mega-sessions of four to six hours. That came from a time-scarcity mindset of working my nine to five. Previously if I had a day off then I needed to make sure I crammed in as much activity as I could. Now I can come at it with a much better perspective. Doing a mega-session is like trying to concentrate for too long. Eventually you’re just phoning it in. Or like junk sets at the gym. Beyond a certain volume, you’re not growing. I find three hours max to be just the right amount for me. There’s only so much walking that the body can take, even though it is a lot!
Lastly I just want to talk about how good it feels not to be working in an office anymore. We’ve had some really nice, sunny days so far this year and I thought to myself “imagine being indoors on a day like today?” Even if you’re working from home, you’re still beholden to your laptop and the whims of someone else.
I have so much more energy now. Offices are simply exhausting, even if you’re sitting for the whole day. It turns out that being active energises you. Offices are filled with flashing lights and potential stress on every corner.
I recently re-read Bodi’s memoirs (link here and here) and he makes a point that some people just aren’t designed to work in offices. I guess I am one of those people. It’s quite sad, really, that if you’re a kid who gets good grades growing up (wow, such alliteration) that you get earmarked to work in an office. That earmarking is done with no consideration as to whether you would actually enjoy working in one.
That’s enough office bashing for now. I want to focus on the positives. I attached this meme at the end of my unplugging post because it makes me smile. A lot. And it’s true. I don’t feel as if I’ve worked at all.
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5 thoughts on “Unplugging From The Nine to Five-trix: One Month On”
Glad to hear it’s working out well. I gave myself 5 years to exit the rat race. After Colombia, I’ve upgraded my goal to 3 years. You recently shared a guest post from another guy that made the leap and is planning for 6 month contracts + 6 months freedom. I like that idea.
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It’s a valid strategy. Would recommend everyone at least try it
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