The Myth of 24 hours
“Every people have the same chance,”- They said
Being a first jobber in 2020 left me confused.
I graduated and was accepted into my current company in the midst of Indonesia’s lockdown policy.
Thanks to my boss, I can work fully from home for almost two years.
A little background to start.
I’m a Jr. Strategic Planner in an advertising agency that lives with my parents and my little sister. They are all entrepreneurs, and I’m the only worker of a company.
You all know the difference between entrepreneur and worker, right?
Basically, Entrepreneurs worked every damn day while I’m the only one with free time on Saturday and Sunday.
At first, it felt terrible.
- My mother was cooking in her restaurant
- My father was counting office bills
- My little sister was photographing her cakes.
- Me? I was in the living room watching Netflix…
“Kids today have it so much easier.” Said my mother as she stared at me binge-watching Korean Drama.
It was a joke, I know it. But at some point in my life, I can’t disregard her words.
“Why am I so lazy?”
- My friend is thriving with his main job, side job and even invited to certain talk shows and discussions.
- Another friend arranged her schedule tightly so she can take piano lessons while leading a church community.
- Another friend can do Yoga in the morning and take a short run in the evening.
Now I felt guilty for having too much free time.
It seems like a wake-up call.
I carefully planned every single activity on Saturday and Sunday:
- Learn other languages
- Adding financial skills
- Take self-development books
- Perfecting main jobs presentation deck
- Finishing some side jobs tasks
- Lead a church community
- and many-many-many more
By the time all the thing is finished, my time for the weekend is also gone.
I was feeling tired yet accomplished at that time.
But the plan backfires on me on Monday.
My Body Stop Functioning
It started as a slight headache in the morning, but my body slowly become weak, and I can not think very clearly. My shoulders all tensed up, and I also want to puke.
Usually, I worked until the night -around 21.00–23.00- so I have free time for the weekend, but now I had to finish my work very early. I even have to take a pain reliever to sleep.
So for the rest of the next day, I take slight naps in the middle of my works and meetings to get healthy again. My shoulders still all tensed up, but I didn’t want to take a leave.
At this point, I was desperate. It seems like I can’t manage my 24 hours like everybody else.
We all have the same 24 hours.
But. Why. I. Can’t. Do. The. Same!
Then I was invited to an online talk show, and the host stated a strong fact:
We don’t have the same 24 hours.
24 Hours Myth
Many success stories end with the sentence “We have the same 24 hours,” intended to push the hustling lifestyle.
We forget to take our different living situation into account.
A housewife with daughters has a different 24 hours than being single.
A person who lives independently has different 24 hours from those who live with parents.
A person born with talents has different 24 hours than a person who still study.
Some people have alone time in the morning; some people don’t.
Some people can do more at night; some people don’t.
Some people have the privilege to do certain things; some people don’t.
There are so many aspects that we missed if we only see from 24 hours alone.
In my case, it becomes clear. Yes, I have free time on Saturday and Sunday, but I was heavily packed with many meetings and job desks to finish on Monday to Friday.
Sometimes I have to work until late at night. But my family can finish their jobs in the evening.
They have their own free time, and they hustle at different times than mine.
I kept hustling; they kept hustling.
We are all running in a different line and all of us keep moving forward.
Taking time to Reflect
There are some points that I can learn from my experience.
- Don’t compare each other success stories until you heard the whole story.
- You have to find your own way to deal with your 24 hours.
- Some things may be slow to you, but it’s okay if you keep advancing.
- Learn to charge and manage your energy (I’m in the progress of reading Are You Fully Charged? by Tom Rath)
- It’s better to prioritize your health so you can be more productive.
- Don’t feel guilty about taking a rest! Place a specific time and day to prevent you become unproductive.