Over the years I’ve seen, experienced and learned a few things I wished I had known earlier in life.
1) Don’t start working fulltime.
I work a 9 to 5 job (although it’s way more than that) but so do all others, except for supermarkets around here (and then only until 8 in the evening). So if I need to do any shopping there’s only the saturday (which is horrible as I’m usually too tired by then), and for anything administrative I need to take at least half a day off during the work week.
With the amount of work I got (being very good at what I do is a curse) it’s a bother to leave work and having to catch up (if that even can be done after hours).
So, it’s just better to work no more than four days during the week (preferably taking wednesday off) to have one day for taking care of things at home. And with the sense of freedom it’s easy to put in extra time during those four days which actually amounts to doing just as much, or even more work as in a regular week.
2) Don’t stop being creative
Being creative is a good outlet for any stressful daily life. I’ve often spend time drawing, writing and imagining things since I was young. I took up portrait drawing as one of my interests but stopped doing it after getting a serious girlfriend, and later when I started in my current line of work.
I did draw once in a while, but it was rare. I still had ideas going through my mind but unfortunately I didn’t always write them down.
So, when I found myself with a couple of months of paid vacation I realised what I had put off and felt a frustrating urge to get creative. It was hard to get back into the game but I’m glad I did.
I redecorated my old home and build my own ultimate speaker system before I started my current job, and since the end of 2014 I set aside time for myself to continue expressing my imagination and ideas, hence this new blog.
I never really thought about it, but after seeing how some people can make a living from their creativity I wished someone had shown me that option earlier in life. Who’s going to pay me for my imagination now? :-P
3) Get organised
Due to shortages of time and energy (see #1) I often neglected administrative stuff or never looked into changing things to get some better options.
So every time I needed to look things up I had a hard time finding it between stacks of papers.
I had no idea how I had spent my money over the years, only knowing I got money at the end of the month, and had money at the end of it.
Books, music, movies, magazines, tools, household items, etcetera were disorganized and it slowly started to bother me.
So, one of the reasons for redecorating was getting rid of the old cabinets one by one and replacing them with the variable IVAR system from IKEA. Clear out one cabinet, put up the new shelves and sort out the contents while putting them back or throwing them finally away.
Eventually I ended up with dedicated shelves for everything and had plenty of empty space left. And with these open shelves the room feels less crowded and there’s no option of hiding junk in drawers when I don’t feel like sorting it out.
Now when I need to look up something I know where to find it, or at least have a better general direction.
I’ve also started working with GnuCash to get an overview of finances. It can generate nice charts on the categories I put in it and having a visual aid has more effect than pure numbers.
Even sorting out the data on various servers and laptops after so long felt like clearing my mind. I always tried to keep it sorted as best as I could but after a while it still becomes a mess.
I’ve even started to document more of the things I do so I can search it whenever I’ve forgotten something.
Most important thing now is to find a daily schedule to organise the various organisational tasks I have to do. And that is not easy for someone who’s had chaos thrust upon him for the last 17 years. ;-)