When I started Copter Labs, it started a new phase of “working from anywhere” in my life. It really changed my perception of time, though, and I no longer have a concept of “the weekend”.
Let me qualify this statement by saying this is not a complaint. It’s just something I’ve noticed as the years have gone on.
Usually I don’t know what day of the week it is. Sometimes I feel like this is a good thing, and I’ve been liberated from the shackles of time.
Other times I feel like Norm Macdonald in Billy Madison.
Usually I get cues about the day of the week from conversations with other people; they say things like, “TGIF,” and, “Must be Monday.”
Losing the Weekend
I don’t really have a weekend to speak of. Today is Saturday, and I’m in the middle of migrating a dozen sites to WPEngine and doing logo concepts.
Tomorrow I’ll probably be fixing a site that got hacked and making improvements to a couple other client sites
Sometimes this bothers me, and I get grumpy and think, “Man, I wish I could just take two days a week off.”
But, actually, I wouldn’t like having weekends back at all.
“Weekends” Imply “Weekdays”
The concept of having two days a week completely to myself sometimes sneaks into my brain and tricks me into thinking I’m missing out.
However, the whole idea that those two days are mine and mine alone implies that the other five days are not mine.
And that, I have to remind myself occasionally, is the entire reason that I chose the career path I’m currently on.
It’s Hard Work, but It’s My Work
I average a ten-hour workday. I work seven days a week. My clients call and email me at all hours.
Sometimes I’ll get asked how that kind of schedule is better than working 40 hours and having the rest of my time to myself.
Fair question. And, honestly, sometimes I wonder the same thing.
But where I always land on this issue is that, yes, what I do is really hard work, but it’s what I love to do.
Every day I solve hard problems: I come up with a design that will support a marketing strategy that I need to define, or build a piece of software that solves a complex problem in a way that’s simple for my clients to use, or I coordinate the team at Copter Labs to tackle an impossibly large project on an impossibly short timeline to get it launched on time.1
I can’t think of anything I’d rather do with my time. And my track record shows it: when I was working full time at a Kinko’s, I would get off work and go home to work on a code project or design.
This was my hobby before it was ever a source of income.
If I didn’t love code and marketing and design as much as I do, my life would probably be a lot different than it is now, and the idea of a 70+ hour workweek would probably make me gag.
But I do, it isn’t, and it doesn’t.
I guess it’s also not fair to say that I don’t have a weekend at all, though. I do have time off. It’s just spread out throughout the week.
I can take a long lunch, or schedule an appointment at 10am. I can shut down at 3:30pm if I know I can stay up a bit later or put in a couple extra hours tomorrow.
Nothing’s Lost After All
The point of all this, I guess, is that I should probably just shut up whenever I start to think I’m missing out. I need to keep perspective, and realize that my life is exactly the way I want it to be right now.
Things like weekends were never important to me, or I would have made that a part of the structure of Copter Labs. And if, in the future, a weekend becomes something I actually want, I’m sure I’ll figure out how to have one.
Do you have any “grass is greener” thoughts bringing you down? Let’s talk about it: jump to the Facebook discussion and let’s air all our First World Problems publicly.
- Or, more realistically, get it launched less late instead of more late.↩
What to do next.
As adults, we’re supposed to build careers, build relationships, build futures, build happiness… It’s all pretty overwhelming. It’s easy to feel stuck — like we’re on autopilot, punching a clock, and buried in tasks we don’t really care about.
Wouldn’t it be nice to get some balance back? To have extra time every day to dedicate to the things that actually matter to you?
I want to help: I’ve compiled 5 Habits of the Unfuckwithably Productive, and I want to give it to you for free. These are time-tested habits that helped me break the cycle of overwork and exhaustion; this is how I spend less than 40 hours a week on the computer — while making a living and traveling the world.