Actually, the question I hear from my friends more often is, “What the f#$k do you do every day?” Since I quit my day job a month ago and moved up to Newport Beach(without any day job prospects), life has been great. Believe it or not, I actually do a lot too. I am living the four hour work day right now, albeit temporarily, and I love it.
I have been actively applying for jobs in my field of study(engineering) but my plan all along was to take a couple months off and see how much I enjoyed working online full time(and to see how much money I could make). By working online full time, I mean four hours a day, but that’s still a lot more than I’ve ever done in the past. Here’s how my four hour work day usually pans out.
My average day starts off with a couple hours of work, some type of exercise, errands/housework/etc, cooking dinner, and a couple more hours of work before bed. That’s just my average day though, the nicest part about working online and for myself is the ability to set my own schedule. If I feel like going for a hike or playing golf one day, I can do just that. I’ll have to make up the work the next day but I am the one who gets to decide when I have to work.
With my old day job, I could have worked 50-60 hours a week and gotten a nice pat on my back. With my online activities, I see a direct correlation between how hard I work/how much time I put in and how much money I make. The income isn’t anything to write home about, but in my first full month freelancing and working online, I’ve actually made more money than I’ve spent. Barely making more than you spend isn’t the greatest way to achieve financial independence but it shows me that I’m on the right track.
What am I Working On?
Do I recommend you go and quit your day job right now to try and achieve the four hour work day? NO, that would be pretty stupid. I’ve been building up the income on my first blog(Your PF Pro) for the past year and a half and I actually didn’t make one cent during the first 6 months. These days, I’m spending about 5-6 hours a week on that site: about half of the time is spent writing articles and the other half is spent responding to e-mails, negotiating with advertisers and setting up virtual assistants(I plan on leveraging VA’s to save me time when I go back to my day job). I’m also constantly networking with other bloggers on social media and e-mail discussing all the latest advertising trends, SEO strategies, etc. Although I don’t get paid for this part, there are a ton of benefits from having a solid network of people you can trust.
This site(The Four Hour Work Day) is my other big project that I’ve been working on. I’m trying to outsource nearly every aspect of managing the site so that I can just focus on providing epic content for my readers. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from a year and a half of blogging, having a cool website design and layout is nice, but it’s the content that will keep people coming back. You can expect at least one epic post from me every week on this site: the articles will be long, informative, unique and thought-provoking.
Since I try to take Saturday or Sunday off from working, that leaves 6 working days a week. At four hours a day, that’s 24 hours of working time. My two blogs take up about 10-12 hours a week so what am I working on the rest of the time? Well I’m actually a freelance writer for various sites around the net. I write for sites ranging from foreclosure and technology to staff gigs for other personal finance blogs and financial sites. Again, it’s been a long process to get to the point where I have a few stable freelance gigs but I’ve spent a ton of time applying to hundreds of jobs in anticipation of this time off.
What am I Doing the Other 11 Hours of the Day?
Working only four hours a day leaves a lot of free time. While I do have a few friends here and there who don’t work traditional 9-5 day jobs, unfortunately most of my friends are employed during the day. So that means, there aren’t a whole lot of people to hang out with during the weekdays. If you’re the type that gets lonely easily, the four hour work day might not be for you.
But even though the four hour work day lacks social interaction, I’ve found that weekdays are some of the best days to go out and do things. Restaurants, shops, parks, beaches, and pretty much everything else you can think of is less crowded on weekdays since most people are working(strange, isn’t it?).
I think it’s a shame that most people have to wait until they’re 65 to enjoy all that life has to offer. I’m in the prime of my life right now, I won’t be able to do a lot of the activities I enjoy when I’m 65. Golf is fun, but eventually it gets boring. I bought a nice used bike that allows me to exercise and save money on gas(I’ve only filled up gas once this entire month), I’ve signed up for a couple basketball leagues, I’ve explored a lot of local parks and beaches and more. I consider myself very active and there are a litany of activities at my disposal right now: a lot of them either free or inexpensive.
Freedom to Set Your Own Schedule
When people ask me what I do every day it’s kind of hard to give them an exact answer. Every day is different for me, most days I work in the morning but after that, you might find me biking up and down the PCH or eating lunch with a friend. As I get to know the area better, I suspect that I’ll find more and more to do. The best part about the four hour work day and working online in general is that you can do it anywhere. A lot of the work I do is just staying organized, contacting advertisers, following up on writing jobs and writing, all of which can be done online.
I used to hate writing, and I’m not sure exactly when the transition happened but now I can’t get enough of it. Analyzing archaic passages from Shakespeare and The Scarlet Letter in high school was not my idea of a fun time. But since I’ve started writing online about things that I actually enjoy and care about it’s been a lot of fun. I’m about halfway done with my experiment into the four hour work day and so far I love it. But I’m also a realist, I know that I can’t have everything when I want it. Sometimes you have to sacrifice a little bit and since my day job provides the active income I need to invest in real estate and save for retirement, I’m not quite ready to make the jump yet.
Although I’m still a few years away from a true four hour work day, I can see the end in sight and it looks amazing. I’m going to keep on building my online and passive income and once it equals my day job income in a few years I’ll be ready to make the jump into the four hour work day.
Readers, ever thought about what you do on a daily basis? I know it was really hard for me to mix up my routine when I was working my day job since it was so draining. Are your routines the same or do you try to mix it up?
-Harry @ The Four Hour Work Day