I work a 9-5. Most days, I’m able to leave pretty much on time. Occasionally, I feel guilty. Should I be staying later? Does it mean I’m not hardworking if I don’t? New York City is a work, work, work culture where everyone says they’re busy, busy, busy. In the last few years I’ve come to discover, this is not how life has to be. Beautiful cities like Denver and San Diego have their employees blasting out the doors when that bell rings for mountains and beaches. These cities are breeding grounds for adventure and recreation. I also don’t believe that everyone is busy, busy, busy. “Netflix and chill” is a saying on t-shirts not for fun, it’s because so many of us are doing just that. Actual busy people don’t have time to Netflix and chill.
So at 5pm, begins my time to do whatever I want. And since I’m not a night owl (nor an early bird), that time goes until about 10pm, when I need to start preparing for my slumber. Multiply those 5 hours times 5 days of the week (alright, maybe my Friday nights can go until 11pm), and you get 25 (or 26) hours to do whatever you want. 25 precious hours. Should I go to happy hour? Do I have a work event? Am I seeing friends? Am I in dire need of Netflix and chill? Or should I exercise (this is typically my priority)?
While it is possible to do multiple activities within those 5 precious after-work hours, chances are, it’s not going to happen. If you exercise, you’ve got to keep your workout short and either squeeze in time for a shower or show up salty. If you eat and drink, you won’t have the energy to do anything later, but you will feel guilty for eating too much, spending too much, and not exercising. And if you have a work event, you’ll probably feel zonked after from being “on.”
Sometimes it does work out and you can do a double hitter. Like when your local park has a race and concert happening in the same evening.
How do you spend your most precious 25 hours of the week? How do you balance your priorities?