Should you have a 5 to 9 routine after your 9 to 5 job?

It forces you to be more intentional with your time.

Harper's Bazaar India

When the clock strikes 5 pm, a flurry of activity begins for many working professionals. While some head straight home, others lace up their dancing shoes, don their chef's aprons, or hit the gym, eagerly embracing the hours between 5 and 9 to explore personal passions and cultivate a life beyond the 9-to-5 grind.

The emerging 5-to-9 trend reflects a growing desire among the working class to achieve better work-life balance and find fulfilment outside their careers. No longer content to simply collapse on the couch after a long day at the office, many individuals are now aiming to make the most of the hours before and after the typical workday—pursuing creative outlets, entrepreneurial ventures, and personal development.

Now the practicality of the 5-to-9 lifestyle has been a topic of debate, concerning whether it is a realistic trend or if it's simply a recipe for burnout. Either way, the routine has its positives and here are some potential benefits worth considering. 

Increased sense of purpose 

Instead of going to work and back to repeat the same routine, day after day, the 5-to-9 approach allows you to explore your personal interests and passions. Say, for example, you've always dreamt of writing a book. If you dedicate a few hours every evening (and over the weekend) to this creative pursuit, you can actively work towards fulfilling that goal. The sense of purpose and fulfilment that comes from executing a meaningful personal project like that can be incredibly motivating.

It adds discipline to your routine 

Committing to using those evening and weekend hours for personal pursuits forces you to be more intentional with your time. You can't just passively unwind; you have to follow through with your goals and activities. This structure and accountability help you make the most of your time, rather than letting precious time slip away. The discipline of maintaining this lifestyle ensures that you make consistent progress on the things that are important to you, beyond just your day job. It can be tremendously rewarding, giving you a greater sense of control over your life.

Should you try it?

Deciding on a clear personal goal is essential before trying to adopt a 5-to-9 lifestyle. For example, wanting to become more physically fit, learning a new musical instrument, or even starting a side business. Having that defined end goal will motivate and direct you to make the most of your time.

With a specific purpose in mind, you can structure your time to systematically work towards your dream. The extra hours outside your regular job can be productively channelled into the activities and efforts needed to achieve your objective. 

On the other hand, if you don't have a particular passion, project, or personal aspiration you're working towards, the 5-to-9 trend may end up feeling more like a chore than a fulfilling endeavour. Without a clear sense of purpose, it can be easy to become overwhelmed or lose momentum when trying to cram multiple (random) activities into your limited free time. 

Feature image credit: Pexels 

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