When I tell people I want to leave work and live a free range life I tell them the reason is that I want to pursue my varied interests. Their usual response is; “why can’t you do that in the evening” and I didn’t really have a proper answer, so I decided to log my time for the week and see just how much time I spent working, and how much time I spent living…
Just how long do I spend at work?
My job is fairly standard when you look at it, I work 39 hours a week Monday to Friday and I almost never bring my work home with me. So why do I feel like I have no time to do anything? Just how long am I actually working?
After a week of logging my time, it turned out that I spent 32.29% of my week at work. So basically a 1/3 of my week went to getting ready for, travelling to/from and being at… work.
However, that’s not entirely reflective of my situation when you consider that I spend on average 40.18% of my day in bed, asleep and thus unable to partake in any hobbies other than the sweet bliss of unconsciousness. Taking bedtime away I spent a staggering 53.02% of my waking week at work! And thats over 7 days, over the 5 day work week 74.22% of my day was spent on work!
Three quarters of my waking work-week day is spent on work! I’m an introvert, people wear me out, work wears me out. My energy drains really quickly and so how the hell am I supposed to go and research some history or go for a run when I need to desperately recharge for the few hours I have left before the next day begins.
And isn’t that the point? To keep your days so filled with work that you turn into a good little consumer buying fast food and fast entertainment to help you forget about the shitty situation that has become your life?
Even sadder for me though was that on the Monday, I only spent 1.04% with my little boy. I briefly said hello as he was carted off to nursery, and got to sit with him the few minutes I had between coming home and his bed time. Realising how little time I get to spend with him was the saddest part of this whole exercise. What am I am whoring out my time for? So that I can afford the nursery fees to enable me to work and not see him? Thats some fucking bullshit right there.
I am happy when I have solitude. It is no wonder that I am not happy right now when I worked out that I only managed to spend 0.64% of my week alone (unless you want to count being asleep!). For me this is critical, when I don’t get solitude and practice meditation I feel myself begin to slip into an anxious, irritable and depressed state which I have mostly been in since starting my job last year.
I have tried to up my time alone, but with a family this is very difficult. My partner is understanding and gives me a few hours at the weekend but I find it difficult to do when I also have a son who I adore and want to spend more than my paltry 12% a week (as it averaged over the week with the weekend included) with him. The paradox is I feel a lot better (and am more fun, have more energy etc) when I have solitude in my life. But how do I get solitude without ruining my time with him? Where else can I cut down?
Hobbies & Play
Perhaps I could cut down the 0.5% of my week I spend reading? or the 0.7 hours a week I spend listening to music? What about ditching the TV? Isn’t that what we spend most of our time doing? Not me, I only spent 0.75% of my week watching it. Glad I bought the 55 inch.
I also had in my calculator my other hobbies including walking, camping, making music, creating apps, writing, photography, studying history and visiting historical sights. But I spent 0 time on them.
The way I see it, I only have two options. Cut down on one of the big hitters; sleep and/or work. And I fucking love sleep, okay?
So what’ll I tell the next person who asks me why I can’t just pursue my interests in my spare time? I’ll tell them I’m an introvert. That means being in the work place drains me. That means I’m so exhausted from spending 74% of my weekday at work that I don’t even want to enjoy my hobbies, that I have become a soulless consumer of cheap food and TV to try and fill the void left by work and the meaningless life it has given me… OKAY!?
Enjoy your day folks, spend your time wisely