I was there and I am thankful for my fate to endure such long hours.
My life completely changed when I was forced to work in an environment with long hours and a long commute.
I realized I have to do something about it. (I was sleeping earlier but it woke me up.)
How To Grow As A Person
When you have a 10-11 hours long workday, how do you grow as a person? Spiritually, intellectually, emotionally and financially. This is a fair question and an important one.
I used to asked this question to myself and my colleagues. Sometimes this question used to scream at me at night. My job was very technical (debugging code and sql stored procedures) and I was learning and growing as far as my technical skills were concerned.
But, the focused screen time was taking a toll on my eyes and after my job, I did not want to look at any screen which emits light. I was done for the day.
That said, it was also true that I am not a kind of person cut out for a 9-5 or 8-6 job! I am a person cut out for 7-7 (irony?) but as an entrepreneur.
How much do I make an hour? About $200. Will spending one hour to write this blog help me make my hourly rate? Nope, not even a single dime… but here I am. (Because I like doing this and therefore do not mind the hours.)
It’s not about hours, it’s about passion and growth
Why do I do what I do and make my day 7-7? Because, I am passionate about my mission in life and I have the freedom to work on whatever project I want, whenever I want.
It’s Monday, 10:30 am. No problem. I am going to spend an hour writing this blog.
My heart is in answering questions, writing blogs, writing books, running my own company, and investing. I am learning every day. I am growing every single day. On all fronts. Spiritually, emotionally, intellectually and financially.
I try and tend to accomplish at least 20 hours of productivity each day (during my 7-7). I structure my time to do this. I have a routine (even though I work from home). And, I read a lot.
What can you do in your situation? How to grow financially, intellectually, physically, and mentally?
The 5 Point Solution
1. First celebrate yourself
Celebrate the fact that you have a 8-6. A lot of people do not have a job or they have an underpaying job for their skills. You may not realize this but you are in an advantageous situation over many other (reading this answer right now).
May be you are commuting 2 hours daily for your job. Listen to podcasts and audiobooks. That is your 2 hours of daily reading. Powerful.
2 hours daily x 5 days a week = 10 hours of reading/week
i.e. 40 hours of reading/month
i.e. 3-4 books each months + dozens of self-development, business, entrepreneurship podcasts
Imagine, after 6 months of doing this how powerful your mind will become! How much knowledge you will have!
2. Meditate, Visualize and Affirmations
When you wake up in morning, spend 10 minutes (not too much to ask for) to meditate (if that’s your thing). If not read a spiritual book (again depending on how you define spirituality and what is spiritual for you).
If nothing comes to mind and meditation is not your thing, just practice deep visualization of how you would want to shape your life. Visualize clearly that everything that you desire have come to the fruition. Visualize them as vividly as possible. Feel the emotions.
You can also read aloud your self-affirmations. An example would be:
“I am a positive person who is happy for my long commute so that I can listen to uplifting audiobooks and podcasts.”
“I am a happy person who likes to learn as much as I can on my work. I am happy for my job because it provides for my family.”
And so on..
3. Meal and life planning
Since you have time consuming job, I would assume it is also stress inducing. You should cook on Sunday evening for your next three days of lunch. On Wednesday evening, you should cook lunch for Thursday and Friday.
If your team eats out on Friday, join them. Make connections. Build relationships.
Stick to your lunch box on the rest of the days. Try to eat on your own (if possible). Or, with other folks. It’s up to you.
Take a small walk. Let new ideas come to your brain whenever you take a break from your work. Be it small tea or coffee breaks or be it a small walk.
Spend these moments alone. Atleast try to. That is when your inner fire will transform your passion into great ideas.
Besides, the above benefits, you are also saving money on lunch dollars if you are currently eating out. This small saving will pay off in big ways in terms of self-discipline, routine, structuring your life and allowing yourself the luxury of having the free time during lunch hours to think hard and come up with ideas that will make your life better.
4. Exercise and evening ritual
If you are in a relationship and have kids, spend time with your family. If you have to drop your kids for classes or gymnastics, you should participate with them as well.
Swimming? How about you and your partner swim as well with your kids. Music lessons? How about you train yourself in music too. Pick up an instrument that you always wanted to learn.
Gymnastics or dance? How about you start training your body just as you are training your mind.
If you are single, you are lucky. Eat light dinner. Go straight to the gym and workout. Give your best. Lift heavy weights. Challenge your body to its maximum limits. Run as if you are preparing for a coming zombie apocalypse.
This is how you grow your physical self. This is how you become mentally tough. This is how you show to yourself, you are serious. That you are committed to transforming your lifestyle.
5. Weekends are yours to keep
Weekends are sacred. Use those 48 hours as if your life depends on it because it does.
Let’s say you are single. (People with family will have a somewhat different structure on weekends. I can cover them in an another quora question.)
Talk to your friends who are equally motivated and positive as you are. Cut off from people who are negative and time-money-and-blood suckers. By now, you probably know who they are in you life.
Limit your Facebook and social media time to 30 minutes each day on weekends.
Take a trip to somewhere new or go for a hike. When you walk, your brain thinks smarter and faster. When you are moving, your brain gets stronger.
During afternoon or in the morning, (depending on your schedule), sit down and come up with ideas on how you can make some passive income.
Think: How can you save more money? How can you cut your overhead cost by 10% and invest that money? How you can earn more money?
Spend some time learning about money, investing and the world economy.
Think about all the hard questions about your life and try to come up with answers. If you do not have the answers, it’s okay. Ask questions to others and find the answer. Your goal is to just explore possibilities at this time.
I can promise that if you do this for just 6 months, you will be transformed into a new soul in a more youthful and stronger body.
Now that you are smarter, get a new job
Now, you are ready to look for a new job and start a business on the side. If you are not a risk taker, then you would come up with ideas on smart money management and smart investment techniques and strategies. Business is not for everyone and it’s okay to accept that.
In such case, you would simply want to improve a skill that you have. Assuming, you are already happy with the money.
Or perhaps, you would just like to relax and take things as they come. Whatever you wish or want, you have the mental and spiritual toughness to face it with grace and gratitude.
Don’t forget to cook your meals on Sunday night. Respect money and it will serve you. Learn discipline and it will take you to the next level.
Have fun in the process. Life is too short to spend figuring out everything when all the beauty of this creation is right in front of you. Take it easy and enjoy the process.
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So are you ready to take control of your life, your finances and your future? WhatÂ challengesÂ are you currently facing? Tell me in the comments and I’ll try to answer your questions. Â I would like to help you with your situation. The first 10 commenters are always my favorite and I like to personally communicate with them. So share your thoughts.