The Irreverent Professor

Unvarnished realities about life, teaching, learning, and change in this wild, wild world

Archive for the tag “9-5”

Getting Unstuck: If You Do What You’ve Always Done…

I’m stuck.

If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always gotten.

Variously attributed to Albert Einstein, Mark Twain, and Tony Robbins.

I’ve got the life I want.  Last year, I moved to the beach, I work from home, I have flexible hours, I work part-time and spend several mornings a week at a coffee shop, reading, writing, and chatting with other locals.  I have a saintly husband and a sweet, funny son who brings daily joy and surprises.  I have multiple furry creatures around for loving on–and keeping my feet warm.  Life is good.  Damn good.

But like a counterweight, although my life is going along swimmingly, I am intellectually and vocationally stuck.  I’ve been doing what I do for a long time and in various iterations.  And I’ve been arguably successful at it.  But I feel like I have stopped learning.  I have stopped growing.  I have stopped being challenged by what I do.  I hear the little girl I used to be whining to my mother (as I so often did) “I’m B-o-o-o-r-e-d.”

So as a first step to getting unstuck (and as I often did when Mom glared at me over her glasses following my plaintive cry), I’m reading books.  Not just any books.  Books that address the way of life (and work) that I have come to love: multipreneuring.  That is, doing a lot of things simultaneously and independently.  Kind of like freelancing, but with various different kinds of things–speaking, writing, teaching, whatever else comes along.  And I have started (appropriately, I think) by re-reading the appropriately titled Multipreneuring by Tom Gorman.

Multipreneuring by Tom Gorman - an oldie, but a goodie

Multipreneuring by Tom Gorman – an oldie, but a goodie

I first read it in 1999 when I was working as a lawyer/association executive/adjunct college faculty member.  So it didn’t so much change my life as validate the way I was living my life.  It is still as pertinent today as ever.

Which makes me wonder: do other people feel stuck?  Like they want to change their lives or careers or both and aren’t sure how?  Or where to start?  Are they just scared?  Or do they not know what to do?  And is there a way I can help those people while I’m helping myself?

I end with this thought (which I will explore more thoroughly another time)…again, because it is so pertinent to my situation: “Just because you are good at something, doesn’t mean that’s what you should do.”

Carpe getting unstuck!

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8 Hours a Day, 9-5? I Think Not.

My office at 9am.  Lonely, empty, and waiting for me to wake up.

My office at 9am. Lonely, empty, and waiting for me to get in the right frame of mind. [Note @gapingvoid framed print in corner. Love him…er, it. Check him out on web or Twitter.]

I’m not a morning person.  Ok, that’s an understatement.  I hate mornings.  And I hate the word “hate.”  But it fits here.  I’ve spent 25+ years working for businesses for which the work day “start” time is 8am or 9am and leaving before 5pm is frowned upon.

But here’s the thing…I do crappy work (if any work at all) at 9am.  At 8am, I am a mere shell of a woman, a robot going through the motions.  I can’t form complete sentences.  In fact, when I was a meeting planner (many moons ago), I used to be told regularly on the phone in the mornings to speak up because people “couldn’t hear me.”  At the time, I thought that was due to a hardware problem, but I’ve since realized that a barely audible mumble is the best I can do in the morning.

Recently my husband, The Genius, said casually to me, “Why do you even sit down at your desk before lunch time?” Um, because I’m supposed to.  Hello?  Social norms and all that.  That’s when it hit me (because it was late afternoon)–I don’t care about social norms!  And the older I get, the less I care about them.  Why DO I sit down at my desk at 9am?  It’s been well-established (and is a frequent subject of discussion between my husband and I) that my “prime time” for work is 2:00-6:00pm.  It’s a subject of discussion because my husband’s “prime time” is 8am-12pm guy.  He’d start work at 7am (shudder) if we could get the Mole Boy ready for preschool in time.  But I’m not much help with that in the morning.

His comment stemmed from reading this blog post “The Origin of the 8 Hour Work Day and Why We Should Rethink it.”  Brilliant.

So I’m experimenting with not bothering to sit down at my desk before 10am…and 11am might be more like it.  And stopping work at 6pm or so.  2:00-6:00pm is my “prime time.”   The time I get into my groove, focus, and can be productive without effort. What’s yours?

And do you do work (or have a j-o-b) that accommodates your prime time?  If not, maybe you need to make a change (or become an entrepreneur).  Life’s too short to watch a clock.

Carpe Prime Time!

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