by Chris McGinty
I had a pretty good streak habit going for a while there, which was not missing any days of work unless it was an actual health problem. I once went to the hospital with an eye infection, and when they ascertained that it wasn’t the type that might cause me to go blind; I got two hours of sleep and then worked a 14 hour shift with a bottle of antibiotics at my side. The point is that unless I was seriously ill, I always made it to work. I was often five to fifteen minutes late, but I always made it to work. Listen, I had to be late sometimes or I’d be a perfect employee and then I’d have to answer that question about my weaknesses with, “I work too hard and care too much.” So cliché.
I’ve contemplated why it is so hard to show up for ourselves. If you’re the type of person who schedules time for projects and follows up then you don’t know what I’m talking about. Some believe that without external motivation, like a paycheck, it’s too hard to follow an arbitrary schedule. I understand that when you’re used to getting paid to work, it may be difficult to shift to working for pleasure. All I can do is paraphrase Gary Vaynerchuk and say, “What other choice do you have?” If it’s what you want to do with your life then you have to show up day after day whether it pays you or not.
“Business Calendar & Schedule” by photosteve101 is licensed under CC BY 2.0
I thought about calling this blog post “The Importance of Being Scheduled Earnestly,” but thought it might be too obscure. I thought about “The Importance of Scheduling Earnings,” but decided that wasn’t really what the post was about. I thought about “The Importance of Scheduling Ernie,” Burt ain’t nobody got time for that.
For some people it is about the money. If it’s just money then you need to pick something that pays well on a regular basis. Go ahead and get a second job. It’ll get you there a lot faster and people will take you seriously when you say you have to work, because I do believe that’s one of the main issues. The math says you can work a 40 hour a week job, work 40 hours on your side hustle, sleep up to 68 hours, and still have 20 hours for friends, family, fun, and errands. And an additional infinite number of hours to contemplate why time isn’t real… that one is optional.
“Garfield the clock” by Henry Söderlund is licensed under CC BY 2.0
“All matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration. We are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively. Everything you know is wrong.” – Bill the Cat
There’s this thing called imposter syndrome. It generally happens with people who have achieved a certain level of success but still feel like they’re not worthy. I think that when a person schedules time for work that isn’t necessarily paying, the imposter syndrome kicks in on all sides. You believe that if something else comes up that you’re justified in missing work that day, because it’s just work that you scheduled. If you can’t have the freedom to skip out then why are you becoming your own boss in the first place? I’ve joked that entrepreneurs make their own hours, because they get to choose which sixteen hours a day they work.
The secondary problem is that others will pick up on the imposter syndrome if you don’t draw the line in the sand. The first time I delivered Uber Eats, I still owed child support, so I still needed to work 40+ hours, but I could pick when I worked. It’s not that anyone ever told me that I could just work later, or that they suggested that because I preferred to work that I clearly didn’t want to hang out with them. It felt like it though, even though it was a paying job. This is because when I was trying to pursue things like writing and music in my early life, it was the exact kind of things that people would tell me and suggest. They say that if you’re not in control of your time then someone else is.
It’s almost like the moment that you say something like, “I want work/life balance,” that you’ve already failed; because life finds a way to make things seem important, and the fear of missing out will make you say things like, “I can take the weekend off and get back to it on Monday.” And Monday is just “die” with a “t” added at the end. I may need to go back and review my Garfield knowledge, because that didn’t sound right.
This is the Garfield strip I was thinking of. I basically had it right. Everything you know is wrong.
That’s the tough part of it. There is nothing that I can write, and probably not anyone else either, that will make you take your schedule seriously. It’s something that has to happen within the sphere of influence that is you. It’s the right thing to do though if there is something you want to do with your life. Most of life moves at the pace of no real expiration date to do things. If you set a deadline to have your first income source for your business and that deadline passes there are usually no real consequences. You won’t die (with a “t” added at the end or otherwise). No one will put you in jail. You just won’t build your business. It will always feel like there will be time later.
This is only made worse when you work really hard for a few months and don’t see the results you expected. If it feels like all the work will see no results anytime soon or ever, it becomes so much easier to not take your schedule seriously. I have no answers. I’m just trying to expose the part of the truth that I can see. Not all of us have the ability to pursue something as though it’s a foregone conclusion that it’ll work, and we’re the ones who need to schedule as though it will. Again, to paraphrase Garfield Vaynerchuk, “What other choice do you have? And where is my lasagna?”
Chris McGinty is a blogger who isn’t a hypocrite. He’s actually working the weekend. He skipped working most of the week, but that’s not the point now is it? Is it? Sigh. It probably is.