My regular day and week looks quite different to that of other young professionals, particularly those in corporate. I usually wake up at around 8.30/9, and spend each day working on 3 or 4 projects. These might include lecturing, working on my startups, consulting or writing my thesis. I’ll usually stop working at about 2 or 3 in the morning. So my work day starts later and ends later than most.
My most productive day is normally a Sunday. I love working on Sundays because most people aren’t working, meaning I can clear out emails, get nice parking on campus and can get stuff done without distraction. I then usually rest on a Wednesday or Thursday, when the rest of the world is being busy.
Not All Good: The Problems
There are a few things about this schedule which don’t work so well:
- Often I’ll be trying to get work done but am limited by the fact that other people aren’t working. For example, if I need to call someone and can’t because it’s 3 in the morning
- Not having a boss is cool, but the problem is that I have no one to check up on me or to prod me when I’m going slow. So sometimes a few days will go by with very little work being done
- Working on multiple projects at the same time means that some end up filling up too much time and others get shoved to the side
But Still Pretty Great: The Benefits
Some of the things that are awesome about this include:
- Having complete control of my time means that I can set my priorities. For example, as discussed in previous post, when friends come to visit I can schedule my time around them.
- One of my favourite things about this life is avoiding traffic. I only ever travel outside of rush hour, meaning that I’ve sat in traffic only a handful of times this year
- I can set up my time for maximum enjoyment and spontaneity. I can do what I want when I want to, as long as I get my work done
Age of the Freelancer: Every day is Sunday
I can go on about the pros and cons of this life schedule, but will refrain from doing so. I don’t think it’s for everyone, and it is definitely a lot more difficult than it looks. You have to be your own boss, secretary and employee at the same time.
I think, though, that the world is moving towards this kind of flexible work. Technology has given us the ability to communicate fluidly and work dynamically. The only reason there is a lag in this type of work being adopted is that it isn’t what people are used to, a companies are still caught in old ways of doing things.
For me, I know I still have a long way to go until I have mastered it. I’ve been living in hierarchal structures my whole life. But this year I’ve learnt a lot about how to manage myself. And it means that, ultimately, I will have the autonomy to direct my time and energy where, when and how I want to.
And also, that any day can be my Sunday.
Image is from a trail run I went on with a friend around Devils Peak at 8am on a Tuesday morning. It was an epic run and I ended up getting home just after 11. Another perk of my flexible lifestype