About six months before leaving my last contract, I told my boss that I was quitting. He really wanted me to say, and asked the inevitable questions.
“Do you need more money?”
“No, it's not about money. It's time. I'm leaving to work on my business full-time.”
“What if you worked less?”
“Well, if I can keep earning a regular paycheck while having time to work on my business… Hmmm…”
And so, my departure from the world of offices and bosses was delayed by six months as I agreed to stay on at a reduced work schedule. I added a few extra days a month off so that I can work on my business. Or read a book. Or take a course. Or get into Game of Thrones.
I wanted the time to do “whatever I wanted”, and it was nice.
But still, working four days a week is not that much different than working five days per week. In fact, I felt more pressure to get my work “done” before I had a day off. Or had a bit of guilt when something I was working on would have to wait until I got back from yet another day off.
I felt I wasn't fully supporting my team. But the days off were nice. I did things. I studied for certifications (I added two more to my resume during that six months). I slept more. I worked out more. I did get things done.
Being honest, having those days off was great! But it wasn't until I left my job completely that I saw the benefits that I was looking for.
I haven't set an alarm clock all April. (Except the dog still wakes me up for his breakfast.) I have only had to suffer bad traffic once instead of daily. I've not once forced myself to do a task that I absolutely did not want to do, but was on my to do list because someone else had put it there. Those are the obvious differences between April and February.
I don't know how to rate that, but I've definitely got more time freedom.
Another difference? The food I've eaten. I've not had a chocolate bar in April. Not had a peanut M&M. Not had a (beef) hamburger all month. (Hey, I'm as shocked as you!) 10 years ago, I lived on hamburgers as a daily meal. Now, going out to eat is special and I won't waste it on junk food any more. Staying at home has meant more cooking at home.
Except Egg McMuffins. Those are healthy and delicious.
I've lost 10 pounds since leaving office life. That's not much, but it's the right trend. That's intentional, to be sure, but being in control of my time has naturally led to a better lifestyle. Now that's not true for everyone, but for me it's removed the excuse of running in to the fast food place for lunch. I don't need fast food anymore. Not for any meal. My food can be slow – be it eat at home or eat out.
The point of this post is to talk about how my life seems to have taken a change for the better since I left an office job. Now I can't say for sure if it will last forever. Only time will tell that. And I can't say that it's impossible to do working in an office. But I do feel that I am adding years to my life, starting in April. It's probably too early to know for sure. But leaving work has been a life changer.