Getting a Day Job was the Best Thing That’s Happened to me
And no, it wasn’t because of the money…
It’s not the money because I’m not making real money. There is something more important than money, and that’s the time we allow ourselves. The best thing a day job provides for me is a structured schedule. I know exactly what to expect and when.
This sort of monotony was terrifying to my younger self. As a creative individual, I dreaded the idea of having to go to work every day and have a routine.
I come from a hard-working family. I saw first-hand how this sort of monotony tore people down quickly.
As I got older, into my late 20’s, I realized that it isn’t how much time we have in our days but how we fill that time that counts.
That idea gripped me. It forced me to think about how exactly I was using my time, so I came up with a process of discovering how I was using my time. The process was basically a time audit. It included sitting down once a week, usually a Sunday morning, and doing a weekly recap of what I spent time on and what I didn’t.
I had to confront some harsh realities about who I was and who I wasn’t. I wasn’t a person who could just get up whenever they wanted. I wasn’t a person who would stay up late at night. I was not your typical creator/artist. However, I was a person who did like a sense of routine. I enjoyed blocking my time out and focusing on accomplishing one task during that block.
I was inspired by reading a book titled Daily Rituals; How Artists Work by Mason Curry. I was motivated by all of the writers or artists who would devote three or four hours each morning to strictly writing or creating. I started from square one. Instead of just jumping right in and creating something, I wanted to find out more about myself. So I spent a solid hour each morning just asking myself questions and journaling.
The Flow State
I started the routine of journaling my thoughts and practicing getting into a flow state. The act of cultivating a time and place to sit and create does wonders for your brain space. Free access to the flow state is an amazing gift to give yourself. Allowing yourself access to this state with ease is vitally important to working on creative projects when you have a full-time job.
Sometimes I would just sit and write about how much I like the way a good pen feels on a good piece of paper.
What I learned about the flow state is that you can take the ability to access it anywhere with you. And that was the real benefit of the 9–5 job. With a 9–5 job, you have a predictable schedule, as stated earlier in this article. It becomes supremely easy to plan out your weeks, days, and hours. Yes, it is predictable. Yes, it is monotonous. But this comes from someone who has always had jobs that were “flexible”, or as I like to call them, unstructured.
I believe that people who don’t like at least some semblance of routine are unproductive. Or maybe they are productive, but they seem to be manically productive. They work in short bursts of intense emotion instead of consistently working.
But I also believe that people who don’t like a 9–5 never had to work any of those jobs that consistently schedule you different hours on a weekly basis. It feels like you are being whipped about by middle management figures.
How are you supposed to live a productive life when you don’t even know when you can go grocery shopping or do your laundry?
The results of my getting this initially loathed “dayjob” were great. My relationships with my friends were flowering, as we could hang out on the same days, or at least plan accordingly. I was able to take extra classes in my areas of interest. I was able to finish the books I was reading. I was able to start a Medium account and try my hand at writing online, even if I don’t expect to make money off of it. And I even saved enough money to go back to school and finish off my philosophy degree.
Don’t take a dayjob for granted. Use your time wisely. Practice getting into the flow state. Watch yourself grow like never before.
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