escaping the nine-to-five

Like it or loathe it, working a strict nine to five job forces you to adhere to getting out of bed at a certain time every morning and retiring to bed at a reasonable hour every night to ensure that you get a good eight hours sleep.

This way of life may be unavoidable for the majority of you, but there are ways that you can enhance your days to make the most out of the hours that you aren’t stuck in the office. 


 photo: unsplash


Our downtime is incredibly important, especially when we work hectic jobs and suffer through frantic commutes. It’s easy to fall into the trap where you get out of bed at the last possible minute, rush to work, skip your lunch, then wearily make your way home to eat, watch TV and get an early night. Too many people live for the weekend and wish their way through the week.

We’re proposing that you optimise your weekdays to make the most out of your mornings, lunch times and evenings. The best way to escape the rigmarole of the nine-to-five is to take advantage of those hours in the day that you aren’t working.


 photo: took a pic


Set your alarm earlier than you have to, and get straight out of bed, rather than snoozing. Wake yourself up with a shower, then start your day by getting energised. There’s no better way to prepare yourself for the day ahead than with a morning yoga session, a jog around the park or a brisk swim. Ensure that you leave plenty of time to enjoy breakfast before heading to work.


Plan your lunch hours wisely. Too many people work through their entire lunch breaks and just graze on snacks at their desk. If the weather permits, take your lunch outdoors. Gather a group of colleagues and find a suitable picnic spot to enjoy the sun, or just take a sandwich and have a stroll around the nearby streets. Arrange to meet friends for lunch once a week, or organise a day where you catch up with workmates over lunch. 

It’s after you clock off for the day that the opportunities really open up. In summer, you have an extra five hours of daylight to enjoy if you finish work at 5pm, and there are still a variety of activities that you can partake in during the winter months.


 photo: unsplash


Take up a sport that encourages a combination of exercise and socialising. Start up a hobby that involves getting out of the house, learn a new instrument or take up photography. Look into events occurring where you live, such as supper clubs, film screenings or immersive theatre. Most museums and galleries open late at least one night a week, usually involving special events.

Get out into the countryside and hike up a hill after work, or simply stroll around your local park enjoying the fresh air. Take a picnic tea or a disposable barbecue and enjoy the social aspect of eating, rather than consuming your evening meal from the sofa as you watch your favourite television programme.


 photo: unsplash


Escaping the nine-to-five is all about claiming back the nine hours a day that you are not tied to your desk or asleep. Take advantage of these precious hours, and celebrate your downtime.

To find out more about escaping the nine-to-five, check out our interview with adventurer Al Humphreys, proponent of the microadventure and five-to-nine thinking.


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