Without work, all life goes rotten. But when work is soulless, life stifles and dies.” ~Albert Camus
I wrote this back in April since then my writing style has changed but I figured this was a good day to publish this post. Happy Labor Day!
The primitive man worked everyday and so should the primitive you.
Primitive man didn’t take Saturdays and Sundays off. There was no such thing as a 40 hour workweek. There was no such thing as seven days a week. There was no such things as weeks. He was out there, everyday, trying to provide for his family. To not get up and leave the cave, to put in a days work, meant his family did not eat. It simply was not an option.
“Everyday is a Workday” is something I learned the year I spent in Iraq, working as a contractor. We worked 12 hours a day, seven days a week. Now, trust me, I’m not saying you have to work 12 hours a day, seven days a week. I’m saying that when I was in Iraq and worked this schedule, I learned that days of the week do not matter. Holidays do not matter. Your birthday does not matter. When you’re out there trying to provide for you and your family, nothing matters. I was reminded of this again a couple years later when I was on active duty Air Force working as a member of Security Forces. We worked a rotating shift. If your days off fell on a holiday then you got that holiday off. If it didn’t, you were S.O.L. I remember bringing in the New Year out on the perimeter with my fire team while fireworks were going off and everyone was out celebrating. When the sun came up and our shift was over, it was New Years Day but it didn’t matter. It didn’t affect me whatsoever. I used to think that working on Christmas would be the end of the world. When it happened, and I lived through it, I realized that it just didn’t matter what day it was. Take the calendar out of the situation and it’s just another day that the sun rose and set.
Some keys to working everyday:
- Do what you love- When you love your work you don’t need a vacation from it. I believe it was in a Seth Godin book where he mentioned how, while at a beach resort he overheard someone say, “I feel sorry for that man having to work on his vacation.” He was doing what he wanted to do. It was something he enjoyed. If anyone should feel sorry for anyone, it would be him feeling sorry for them. When their vacation is over they have to go back to a job they hate.
- Work on a project unrelated to your “job”- Your lame 40hr a week job that you hate doesn’t have to be your only source of income. You have a skill someone is willing to pay for. Work on that skill and sell it to those people. (You might even be able to quit your lame job someday.) This can still apply if your job isn’t lame. Firefighters are a good example of this. They often run their own business when they are not at “work.”
- Research is work- Spending the morning reading a book, magazine, or article on a work related topic while you drink your coffee next to your spouse is work. Sorry! Enjoy it! “Work” does’t mean you have to be on the clock. You could be working on something that is going to pay you in the long run.
- Classes, workshops, and seminars are work- Getting better at what you do is work. If it happens to be a 7 day workshop in Costa Rica, so be it! (Oh and would this be considered a vacation or work?)
People might think that working every day is not healthy or might be hard on the family. I disagree.
What if you got up two hours before your family does on a Sunday, check your emails, respond to a few, get the family up, go to church, go to breakfast, come home, spend a nice afternoon with the family, then have dinner later that evening? You didn’t miss anything and you still worked that day. There is nothing wrong with work. What is wrong is not spending time with your family. You can do both everyday.
If every day is a work day then everyday is a play day.
When you realize that every day is a workday, it affects your leisure time as well, but in a positive way. When I say days don’t matter it relates to taking time off as well. Friday night, who cares? Saturday nights, who cares? If you realize the days of the week don’t matter, you won’t be sad or depressed because you were sitting at home watching Netflix on Friday night instead of spending it out on the town. You would also be able to go out if a lifelong friend unexpectedly comes to town on a Wednesday. You can go out with him or her, have a drink and not worry about getting up so early in the morning because you have to work.
Everyday is a work day and you can take workdays off sometimes. Take as many days off as you want. But don’t exclude the fact that some work can be done. Don’t be so strict about your day off that you don’t allow yourself do any work on that day. If a good idea comes to you, work it out and write it down. The idea came to me and I did not put it off. I put it down on paper, or in this case on my phone. If I were to tell myself, “I am not working today, no matter what,” then I would be faced with an unwanted internal conflict. I would be causing stress that I really don’t need to go through and maybe lose out on an opportunity to write some good content.