Continuing from Part 1 yesterday, I will now dive into what goes down after the sun starts its decline.
12:30pm - Lunch + More Work
At our office, lunch orders are taken every day for a different restaurant. Thai. Italian. Mexican. Pizza. The list goes on. These items aren't free, though. If you decide to order out, you'll be paying $8 - $15 depending on what you get where. If you did this every day, you would be spending upwards of $3,000 on lunch (just at work) every year. This is obviously a lot of money that could be spent elsewhere (index funds, anyone?). Because of this, I opt to bring my own lunch as much as possible. Whether this is canned soup or precooked meat and veggies, the price is only a fraction of what I would be paying by ordering out. A cheap can of soup from Grocery Outlet might cost just a dollar while some nice meat and produce might be closer to $5 or $6. Either way, my wallet is much stronger because of it.
In addition to lunch, glasses of water are thrown back with regularity. Water is probably the cheapest and easiest way to become or stay healthy. If you drink water in place of soda, you'll be way better off. It also helps fill the stomach so you don't end up overeating all the time, or snacking. Drink up!
6:00pmish - Personal Work
Now that the work day is winding down, my responsibilities for the day are usually complete by now. Give or take a few hours. But when the time comes, I'll usually hop over to a personal project. Currently, writing for The Minimal Minute has filled up a large portion of my 'free' time. In the evenings I try to think of a topic and do some research on it. The next morning, I'll spend time starting the post and getting the framework laid out. I'll also often reach out to friends on Facebook to get different perspectives on the topic I'm writing about. Depending on how much spare time I can find, I'll finish the article at some point in the day and get it posted before 4pm ideally. Anything I post after 5pm usually falls to deaf ears because you guys just seem to disconnect or something! Which you should. Always unplug when you go home. Spend some time doing analogue things. It's what we're built to do; as much fun as it is to slide our fingers on a little slab of glass all evening. Or stare at a bigger slab of glass on the wall. Eww.
Anyway, in addition to writing for this blog, I've been spending a lot of time ramping up development and marketing for Shoutmap. These tasks range from researching successful Kickstarter campaigns, reaching out to friends in the tech industry, working on the design and flow of the app, and discussing features and potential hurdles of the development and launch. As you might guess, getting an app made isn't a walk in the park. Unless your app is some sort of virtual park exploration game to help relieve stress from being overworked. But I digress.
8:00pm - Home
At some point in the evening I'll make it back to my apartment, two blocks away. In the past, I would spend a lot more time going to bars or out to dinner, but my habits have shifted for the more affordable. These days, I would rather have friends over to cook dinner and play board games or listen to music. The food is cheaper, the drinks are WAY cheaper. Better yet, you don't have to wear shoes. Or clothes, for that matter.
By this time of day, motivation is fading, so I'll try to push through another hour or two of personal work, but eventually I have to switch it off. There reaches a point of diminishing returns where relaxation and sleep are more constructive than slogging along at slower and slower speeds. This is where the more traditional 'entertainment' comes into play. A couple times a week I might watch an episode of a show I'm catching up on. Breaking Bad was most recent. Now I'm catching an episode of Better Call Saul once a week. But I always keep television watching to a minimum. Every hour of tv is an hour you could be practicing a skill or learning something new. This includes all sorts of useful and useless skills. Lately, juggling and card shuffling tricks have become a focus. They're both silly things, but require immense amounts of coordination and dexterity. I'm just now starting to practice with four juggling balls. It's nearly mentally painful to fail over and over and over and over again, but then you finally get it. You master the card trick or the fourth ball.
Other than that, some time is usually spent tidying the place up. Putting things away, cleaning the cooking area, vacuuming, doing laundry and dishes. All these things don't take long when they're done frequently, though. It shouldn't take me more than an hour should I decide to deep clean the entire apartment. Soon, I will be shooting short videos that showcase some of the organizational techniques I use around my apartment to keep things hyperorganized. Plastic bins house a lot of my belongings. Within these bins are ziplock bags that break down categories of items for easier access. The ziplocks are a recent addition that I now swear by. Have a bunch of cables in a drawer somewhere? Put them into ziplocks by kind of cable: USB, ethernet, power, audio, etc. It makes it easier to find what you need while preventing tangles. It's a win-win situation! Who doesn't love win-win?
10:00pm - Wind Down + Sleep
From 10:00pm until around midnight is the last leg of the day. The last few items of the day are wrapped up. Paying that last bill or putting away some dishes. Sometimes I end up just browsing the internet - researching investing strategies, minimalist living tips, or video game reviews :) No matter what, though, it always seems like there is more to do. This is both a good and a bad thing. It's good to stay active and motivated, pursuing your passions, but on the other end, it can get exhausting to keep going and going. Day in and day out. I'm at a point right now where I'm working 50+ hours a week, spending time on my blog, and working on Shoutmap. All the while trying to keep a social life. It's a lot of things, but somehow I keep motivated. The core source of my motivation is the use of creativity to make things that can sustain my lifestyle while working towards the greater goal of true freedom. Not just financial freedom, but the freedom to be able and willing to do what I want.
Tomorrow I will touch more on motivation and how to cultivate it to your own advantage.