For those who don’t know, I work 4 days a week at my office job. I’m quite proud of having bucked the Monday-to-Friday full-time work trend and also feel grateful and lucky to have been given this position, which gives me financial security and a fun office to work at while also letting me have 3 days off a week. After all, why is it the norm that people work 5 days a week and get 2 days off? My job is probably the least inspiring part of my life and the most arbitrary, so minimising it has definitely been worth the cut in pay and my lifestyle has adjusted to this by now. I want to put more and more hours into what I would consider my vocation, my passion, which is music – whether that’s at the weekends or in the evenings or just any time I can find from anywhere!
It’s getting on for three years since I worked full-time and at the beginning I was quite disciplined in using my free extra day to my advantage. In 2012 that day was kind of an escape valve for me – in the end, yes I did get more music done than I would have done otherwise, but a lot of the time that day just gave me a bit of extra me-time where working a full-time job would have driven me to the kind of up-all-hours stress and hysteria I experienced back in 2009. That’s OK too, but this year I really want to get back to treating Mondays as the golden opportunity they are to get in a load of music time and also keep on top of all my other life goals.
My first new rule for Mondays is to treat it like a work day and GET UP at 5am. It’s the only work-day I get to work on my own work and I need to make the most of that. I have been lying in on Mondays the whole of last year (often just until 7 or 8am, very occasionally losing the whole morning) but I need to get out of that habit and rely on weekend days for any necessary lie-ins/naps. Also it would help us to stick more closely to our normal sleeping times if we go to bed together early on a Sunday night.
I problem I’ve been having with Mondays is that while it’s a good opportunity to go to the Big Pool and get in a long 2K swim, it’s a bit of a trek AND I feel knackered afterwards. So my second rule is going to be to get in 4 hours of music BEFORE swimming. If I wake up at 5 I can easily do this before leaving for the first cheap train at 10, but even if I don’t make that one I can go swimming a bit later. It’s a 3-hour round-trip including swim and showering so going at 10 gets me back for an early-ish lunch, but there’s no reason I can’t go later. Also once I get back from swimming I find I’m pretty wiped out for a couple of hours so in some ways the later, the better – then I can flow into the evening with non-music stuff, or pick up some music later if something appeals. It would certainly be nice to have a swim and chill out at the pool knowing that I don’t have to force myself to do anything when I get home again. With my new tracking structure weeks begin on a Tuesday so by Monday afternoon, most things should be finished and that will become the end of my week!
So those guidelines are my new structure for Magic Mondays:
- Up at 5 like normal
- Music first
- Swimming afterwards
- Summing up during post-swim down-time
- Finish up any leftover weekly tasks