The 9 to 5 life is to make sure you survive. But think about it, do you want to survive, or do you want to live?
The 9 to 5 life is conventionally accepted. In some cases, it is even desired. It is seen as adequate.
As long as it feeds your family, allows you to buy the things you want, and be respected as an employed individual in society, it is enough. But does it truly satisfy you? Does it really cater to the needs of your soul? It may not.
Surely, there isn’t anything wrong or dishonorable about holding a 9 to 5 job. It is just that it is considered to be the norm. It is viewed as the standard and hence everyone, including you, aspires to hold such jobs.
What you may not realize is that maybe you aren’t cut out for it. A 9 to 5 job doesn’t sit right with you, but you still endure it, because you think, ‘That’s what everyone does right?’ I’m here to say, it’s not.
I’m here to say, ‘It pays well’ may not be a good enough reason for you to keep putting up with it even if you don’t really like it. Here are some reasons why you need to build a life beyond your 9 to 5.
Why do you need to build a routine beyond 9 to 5?
1. You owe it to yourself to do what makes you happy
If your 9 to 5 job is not something that you truly enjoy, then think about how you would be spending nearly one-third of your day, every day, doing something that you don’t like. Considering how we only live once and how short our lives are, a third of a day is a significant proportion of our time on earth.
It simply would be abominable for us to spend our time yearning to get past moments that don’t bring joy to us. If you feel this way, maybe this is the sign you have been looking for.
The sign that you shouldn’t limit your life to 9 to 5. The sign that you should, perhaps, find other things to do, things that you love, things that can make you happy and feed your soul.
2. A 9 to 5 job may diminish your creativity
One thing that a 9 to 5 job is capable of doing is that it can dampen your creativity. While the comfort of the routine may be appealing to some, for others, however, the very idea of a fixed schedule to adhere to may appear constraining.
It establishes certain limitations on your imagination and may even be considered to offer little scope for the imagination.
Being employed at a 9 to 5 job is likely to put you on autopilot mode. This means that you have gotten so used to doing the job, that you don’t have to be actively thinking to do it anymore.
It comes easily to you, resulting in lesser thinking required to do routine tasks. This monotony can be unexciting and can restrict you.
3. It may limit your personal growth
The monotony and autopilot referred to earlier also may not contribute much to your growth in the long term. To the growth of you as a person over the years. There’s a consistent lack of options and very little space for any kind of spontaneity.
When working at a 9 to 5 job you would, more often than not, follow a path that has been set out. You work your way through it and would rarely think about moving or growing beyond it. Thus this may rein your growth, as a person.
4. Your individuality is consistently downplayed
Working in a 9 to 5 environment would mean that you are employed at an office with a team surrounding you, coworkers you work with and superiors you work under.
Therefore, there is a chance that your individuality may be undermined and is being downplayed when working in a conventional workplace. You may gradually learn to be one among the crowd, further dampening your distinctiveness.
How can you expand your life beyond 9 to 5?
Here are some ways by which you can live your life to a fuller extent, expanding beyond just your 9 to 5 life.
1. Try to set inflexible boundaries between your work and your life beyond it
One habit that may be holding you from having a life beyond your regular job is having unclear boundaries. The distinction that you have in place, between your work life and your life beyond that, is not so marked. Instead, you always get the two intertwined, which makes it difficult for you to have a life beyond work.
So try to set strict boundaries, between your 9 to 5, and your life beyond that. Make it a point to not let the two overlap. Try not to let your work seep into the time beyond.
Even if you feel you could borrow some time from your other routine and get something done, do not do it. Keep them apart.
2. Look for ways you can get more done at work
You feel the need to bring your work into your life beyond your work, only when you feel a sense of incompleteness from your work. A sense that you haven’t accomplished what you desired to.
So try to focus on how you can improve efficiency at work, that will allow you to keep the two distinct. Use to-do lists to finish up your work as scheduled and follow through with it. Once you are done, you should also reward yourself for getting through it successfully.
3. Plan and create a schedule
Your time beyond 9 to 5 is as precious as any time and hence be careful about what you do with it. This doesn’t really have to intimidate you. Instead, just try and make a plan to figure out what you want to do during that time.
Having or building a vision or plan that lists what all you want to do, your hobbies, and when to do it, can be very helpful. Construct a schedule that fits right with you, so as to make the best use of your time.
4. Inculcate healthy habits
Maintaining a dual life of sorts, a full-fledged life at work, and a life beyond 9 to 5 is no easy task. Many have tried this but inevitably failed due to a lot of reasons, the most common one being fatigue.
If you want to make the most of your time, you are going to have to take ample care of yourself and your health. You need to be mindful of your diet and your physical well-being.
Eat healthily, eat a well-balanced diet, that gives your body all that it needs to function well. The energy from the food is what will keep you going. Set up a diet plan that is going to work for you and make sure to eat well.
Find some time to engage in physical activity, anything that you like – cycling, running, yoga, Zumba. Moving your body regularly keeps you healthy and has so many other perks!
5. Learn to take a break when required
As important as it is to be productive and efficient and make the most of your time, it is also equally important to take a break when needed.
Be kind enough to yourself to identify when you need this rest period, to recoup both physically and mentally. Give yourself these breaks, unapologetically, from your 9 to 5, to make the most of what time there is with you.
6. Dedicate time to the people you love
And finally, do not think twice about spending your time with the people you love. People who care about you and people in the presence of whom you feel happy, make sure you keep them close.
When you build your schedule as to what to do beyond your 9 to 5, include this time with your loved ones, and make it mandatory. Being with them, can by itself, bring you happiness. Therefore, dedicate this time to them and spend time with them deliberately.
The 9 to 5 is often dubbed the rat race. People running aimlessly, towards nothing in particular, yet never ceasing. It has always been a challenging ordeal if you wanted to lead a life that stretched beyond this fixed routine.
It may have come with a bunch of sacrifices that you were forced to make, or a strict commitment and dedication on your part to keep both your routines alive.
And ever since the onset of the pandemic, this task has only gotten even more difficult, with the lines getting all the more blurred, and the two merging to become rather indistinguishable.
Maybe that is why it is all the more important that we impart excess effort to keep them apart and to sustain the two. Every one of us deserves to enjoy a job that makes us happy, a job that we thoroughly love and enjoy, one that brings us joy.
And when you find yourself stuck in one that doesn’t necessarily bring this to you, you can let go of it and wait with patience for one that is your true calling. But if that is something you are still apprehensive to try, this is when establishing a routine beyond 9 to 5, comes in.
Remember, your job shouldn’t be making you miserable. Whatever you do, it all comes down to whether you’re happy or not. And your happiness comes from the choices you make.
However, don’t let this decision intimidate you, be patient, breathe and slowly figure things out. It will all be well.
Related Article: 7 Ways To Incorporate Mindfulness At Work!