Challenge #7: One Month of Shaking Up How I Start and End My Days

Don’t believe what Rory Gilmore or Hannah Horvath show you: freelance writers work their asses off. At least the ones in my circle do.

For this sake of this Year, I’m slowing my ass down for a month.

6.5% of people in the United States are “self-employed” in a nation that averages a 34.3 hour work week. That breaks down into 6.86 hours of daily work.

That’s not me.

I’m my own boss and my own assistant. I handle my PR, social media, pitching, hiring, firing, HR, content, editing, uploading, invoicing, and promotion. I juggle multiple email addresses and websites, and too many Dropbox folders and Google spreadsheets than are mentally healthy.

Yes, I get to hang with my dog all day. Yes, I can take two hours of my afternoon to finish a novel if I so choose, or walk to clear my head when shit gets real. Yes, part of my reason for freelancing fulfills the reality that I am sometimes too sick to work and need to succumb to bed and Netflix until my body recoups. But that then means I have to kick extra ass when it does.

I don’t have anyone to answer to but me. I have a weird body. I constantly juggle working with new people — most of whom I never meet in person. I’m often at my desk by 7 am, and sometimes don’t shut my computer until 9 pm. I work weekends when I feel like it because I love what I do. I take days off when I feel like it because I love not working, too. Even though no one demands that I’m at that desk by seven, or taking stock of what I wear, I hold myself to standards, expectations, and judgments. If I don’t make money, it’s my fault. If I turn in bad work, it’s my fault. If I succeed wildly, it’s my triumph.

It’s a balancing act. It takes coffee. It takes comfort. It takes self-discipline. I love it.

It’s time to shake it up.

So this month, I’m doing just that — shifting my morning and evening habits to see how they affect my health, socialization, and overall happiness. In four short studies, I shall:

  1. Give up my morning coffee!
  2. Not watch television (my nightly collapse-into-bed ritual)!
  3. Dress in office attire before I sit to work!
  4. Stop working at 5 pm!

Will this shift my working hours? Make me more or less productive? Have me groggy and uninspired or pumped to push through?

Let’s see, shall we?!?!


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