Recently, we’ve had a lot of people asking us what we did during our 9-5 lives. What were our habits, what did we read, what did we do, etc.
So in the post, we’d like to explore this a little.
During our time working in a structured 9-5 environment, although sometimes frustrating, gave us a special gift every single day.
It gave us a very structured daily schedule.
This schedule has some amazing benefits.
Before we explain how we used a 9-5 schedule to our advantage, let’s be clear on what we’re referring to…
Here’s the schedule we loved when working a 9-5 routine:
- Each day you get up at a set time.
- If you are commuting to work -> Each day you have anywhere from 20-60+ minutes of mostly uninterrupted time. And you have this twice a day! Both to and from work.
- If you are working from home -> Each day you can easily carve out the same 20-60+ minutes of uninterrupted time before you begin working. And you can do this twice a day.
- Each morning and afternoon you have a break. In the white collar world of jobs, these are mostly neglected but they do exist. That’s another 30 minutes every-single-day.
- Each day at lunch you have 60 minutes of freedom!
- Often, with many 9-5 jobs, you don’t have any interruptions at night! So each night you’re not dealing with emails or phone calls, you can use that time as you see fit. 30-60 minutes a night, easy.
Have you ever heard this quote?
“Habits eat good intentions for breakfast.”
It’s spot on.
(We can’t seem to find the original source of this quote in case you’re wondering why there’s no author with it).
The beauty of having such a structured schedule is that it’s very easy to introduce new habits into it.
We firmly believe that you can look at your habits and predict your future.
So having such a beautiful template to work with each day is wonderful.
You can introduce habits into it that will literally change your life.
Here are some of the funny and crazy sounding things we did with these time slots during the 9-5 job period of our lives…
Each Morning Before Leaving for Work:
Each morning I would get up early and read something inspiring. Some new motivational book or a personal development book of some sort.
I tested out things like writing out lines and lines of affirmations. I sat quietly and visualized. I wrote out a dream book. I made plans. I’d tear up those plans and write out new plans.
I studied new topics and skills: personal finance, real estate, speaking, website building, sales.
It was sort of random, I just grabbed onto anything that I thought was interesting.
Weekly Accumulated Time: Anywhere from 15-45 minutes a day for a total of 1.25hrs 3.75hrs
Each Day To and From Work:
This is where I went crazy. I stopped listening to the radio in 1998, exactly at the same time I started working in my first serious, post-University, full-time job … which I hated. Badly. Had sweaty nightmares. Thought life was over. That type of hate.
I spent money that I didn’t really have, mostly using my Credit Cards, on primarily motivational and real estate related audio courses.
Back then, you paid relatively big money for this stuff.
Sometimes I checked if the library had it, but if the wait was too long for a Tony Robbins CD set, I’d just find another way to buy it or get it. I’d borrow it from someone, buy a used copy, buy a new copy … whatever it took. If I felt it was beneficial, I was on it.
One time I spent $5,000 for a box of real estate tapes from a U.S. guru. My four door Honda Civic (stick shift) didn’t have a tape player (CD was the norm already), so I went to Zellers and bought a big boom box thing that sat on the passenger seat and boomed out those audio cassettes to me for months.
Friends thought I was nuts for having it in my car. Can you imagine what they would have thought if I told them the cassette tapes I was listening to cost me five-thousand-dollars!! Lunacy, I know.
I can tell you that I learned a lot about real estate and personal development over those years.
Then I drifted into the world of Eckhart Tolle and the Power of Now, into very specific sales training strategies, the “how to” of direct response marketing.
After five years of listening to audio in your car to and from work, you can cover a lot of ground.
Weekly Accumulated Time: 20-60min each way, 1hr 40min to 5 hours … every week!
Breaks and Lunch Hour:
For breaks, I didn’t really do much. Sometimes I walked to get some fresh air. Other times I just sat in my chair and did online banking or something. Looking back, those 15-minute slots of time could have been used better.
But my lunches were awesome…
When I began working in Mississauga at Oracle, I was 10min away from Chapters by Square One Shopping Centre. I would either skip lunch or grab a slice of pizza and eat lunch as I drove, and then spent 35 minutes in pure joy reading almost everything in the personal finance, sales, website, and personal development section.
Rich Dad Poor Dad, The Millionaire Mind, The Millionaire Next Door, every-single-awesome-Og-Mandino-book, Think and Grow Rich, How to Win Friends and Influence People, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living (that was awesome), Words That Sell … the list went on and on.
I’d mix in anything on: website building, writing sales copy, effective communication, saving money, making money, spending money, LOL! It was a bonanza of book reading and I loved those lunch breaks. I miss those lunch breaks!
Weekly Accumulated Time: 2.5+ hours.
Looking back at life before kids, I can’t believe how much time I had.
You know when you don’t have kids, people with kids will always tell you that you have so much time and you don’t believe them.
Wow, they were right.
You have so much time.
I think evenings are where things just got crazy.
I remember buying an “options trading course” and I’d study it weeks and weeks. I opened an account and began trading options on the stock market for a little while. It was insanity. I didn’t have the emotional control for it.
At one point, very early on in our marriage, I asked/forced/persuaded my amazingly supportive wife to sit down and watch some Commodity Trading for Millions VHS tapes that I purchased. Oh-my-goodness-were-they-ridiculous.
We were looking at charts, trend lines, and all sorts of indicators that would tell us if we should buy or sell pork bellies.
During these evenings, I’d learn about network marketing programs and even went to a meeting for one company … unannounced. I just showed up. Apparently, people don’t do that, you’re always invited by someone. So when I just showed up they made a big deal of it, made me stand up and everyone started clapping for me … I got scared and left and never went back. A week later I got a nasty email from one of the people there claiming that the reason I never went back was that I must have been a spy from another network marketing organization, LOL!! Wow, fun times.
When I travelled for work, I’d take all these programs and books with me and spend evenings on the road pouring through them.
It was fun … and yes, I realize I’m a very strange person.
Weekly Accumulated Time: 2.5-5 hours.
Let’s add all of this up.
We’re looking at anywhere from almost 7 to possibly 16 hours a week to learn, study, grow! Every week!
Looking back on that time, some very powerful things came from it.
Namely, some amazing morning routines that helped us quit and start Rock Star. Some solid understanding of sales and marketing and a real confidence around real estate investing.
If you’re feeling trapped in your 9-5 life right now, try to create some daily habits in the spaces between the job.
Those habits can automatically create a pretty cool future for yourself.
Today we’re super grateful for our lives and we have that 9-5 time to thank for it.
Until next time … Your Life! Your Terms!