So it’s been a long long day at work…
You find your job is still as unfulfilling as ever.
You leave the office and now have to contend with an uncomfortable and congested commute home.
You get home and what’s the first thing that’s on your mind?
I get it.
All you want to do is just lie on the couch and start watching the next episode of Stranger Things on Netflix. Or maybe go watch cat videos on YouTube 😉
But you can’t yet.
So many things still demand your time and attention.
First you need to cook. Then you need to do the dishes, take out the trash etc.
If you have kids, you need to look after them, help with their homework and tuck them into bed to sleep.
By the time you’ve done all these things you look at the clock.
It’s already 9pm.
“Where did all that time go?!” you think to yourself.
You’re exhausted by now.
So what do you do?
It’s Netflix and YouTube time am I right?!
You tell yourself you deserve it. You’ve just put in 9 hours at work + 2 hours travel time + 2 hours cooking/cleaning/errands. If you factor in the recommended 8 hours for sleep that leaves you with a paltry 3 hours remaining for yourself (“me time?”).
Yes but oh so insidious.
That is the trap.
If you have a job, what you do between 9-11pm will determine whether or not you spend the next 30 years in a cubicle…
Like you, procrastination was my master for years.
For a long stretch of time, what I described above pretty much sums up what I faced Every. Single. Day.
Again, I get it. I really do.
After a long hard day at work the last thing you want to do is do anything that requires thinking or using your brain.
I don’t want to sound inconsiderate but the problem is if you have an unfulfilling day job, what you do between 9-11pm is so so important (of course if you want to be even more extreme and more aggressively pursue your goals, Gary Vaynerchuk recommends 8-2am and personally works eighteen hours a day).
Whether you are on the moderate or extreme end doesn’t matter as much as the fact that you start being aware of this and let your awareness translate into action.
If you’re thinking “why should I bother doing this?” let me explain:
Building someone else’s dream vs building your own dream
I used to fall into the trap of thinking that after a long day of work, this means I’ve been really productive all day.
After all, I’m feeling so exhausted so that must be proof I’ve been so busy all day.
And if I’m so busy that must mean I’ve been working hard and have achieved so much today right?
I’ve since realized that the answer to this question is: wrong.
Yes I may have done a lot of things that day, but that doesn’t mean I achieved anything.
Think about it. As of yet you’ve just been going through an entire task list that was assigned to you by someone else.
You’ve just been working all day solving someone else’s problem, or helping your boss look good or going through some list of items that isn’t your own.
But at this point in the day, you most likely still haven’t done a single damn thing towards solving your own problems or working towards your goals and dreams.
If you have an unfulfilling job – your day should start at 9pm…
The corollary to all this is you should treat all the time you’ve just spent in the day as overhead.
Unavoidable overhead time costs.
Otherwise, as a wise man once said:
If you don’t make the time to work on creating the life you want, you’re eventually going to be forced to spend a lot of time dealing with a life you don’t want.
You see this is a trap. A vicious cycle.
Especially if you’re reading this you’re probably not satisfied with your job and want something more. You have to fight for it.
Short term pain for long term gain.
Because if nothing changes, nothing changes. That is why this vicious cycle has a name, the Rat Race. Also known as Time-Money-Servitude. It’s a vampire that sucks time instead of blood.
Before you know it, it will have sucked 30 years of your life and you will have wondered what happened to your hopes and dreams.
A small shift in perspective goes a long way
If all this sounds daunting, start small and also don’t view it as work.
Work is what you do everyday building someone else’s dream. Building your own dream is something you are doing for yourself.
Once I learned my lesson it led to a small shift in perspective that made a world of difference.
These days I view 9pm as the start of my day – and in a way it really is – because until that point can you truly have called it your day when all you have been doing up to that point has been doing things for your company or boss?
Now I look forward to 9pm every day. To start working on things in pursuit of my dream life. A life of freedom to live on my own terms. A life where my time is mine and not owned by some faceless corporation.
I believe that’s something worth fighting for and that’s what you can genuinely call “me time.”
- It’s been a long day at work. You’re exhausted. You want to chill. I get it.
- But if your goal is to escape an unfulfilling job, if you do that nothing will change. Its a trap. A vicious cycle.
- More and more your time will shrink as you grow older or “progress” in your career by climbing the corporate ladder.
- The more senior you are in your company the more problems you have to deal with, the less time you have to deal with your own problems and trying to achieve your goals.
- That’s why see many people who have spent 20-30 years of their life at unfulfilling jobs. A lot have already stopped hoping and dreaming.
- Realize that at 9pm you still haven’t done a single thing for yourself from your own personal backlog (self-improvement , side project, side hustle etc.)
- Therefore what you do from 9-11pm is what will set you apart for success.
I would love to hear your thoughts about this.
How many hours do you have at night for yourself?
What do you usually do on work days two hours before you go to bed?
Do you think it is worth “suffering” like this for a few years in the hope you can avoid years of grinding at your 9-6 job?
If you would like to share your experiences, please leave a message in the comments below.
Like I spoke about in yesterday’s post, I hope we can keep one another accountable to committing to this.
Until next time.
See you at nine o’clock
Tony Lee Jacobs