What They Don’t Tell You About Leaving the 9-5


We’ve been seeing this a lot nowadays: people leaving their day jobs and chasing their dreams by following their passion.

Sounds cheesy, I know.

But leaving the 9 to 5 isn’t as glamorous as we think it is. Yes, we see these people traveling the world with their MacBooks, lounging in hammocks on the seashore, not bound by clock-ins and limited vacation leave credits. It all sounds wonderful.

But here’s the thing: once you decide to leave the corporate world, you are on your own. You own your time, yes. You own it, and so you’ve got to manage it. Responsibly.

What they don’t tell you about leaving the 9 to 5 is that it actually becomes the 9 to 9 (or 12 mn). You still have to do some work a lot of work! So that, you know, you can get paid and actually afford plane tickets and food and good coffee.

Whether you work from home or a coworking space or at the beach, you’ve got to have some sort of structure to your day. Organize your tasks – and it’s not enough to just have a to-do list. Arrange your to-do list.

Have you heard of Stephen Covey’s Covey Quadrant featured on the his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People?


This system makes use of four different quadrants that let you prioritize tasks according to their importance and urgency, helping you to decide whether you need to address a task immediately or if you can postpone it.


  • Quadrant I is made up of important deadlines with high urgency.
    The first quadrant contains tasks and responsibilities that need immediate attention.
  • Quadrant II is for tasks that require long-term development and strategizing.
    The second quadrant is for items that are important without requiring immediate action. Covey points out that this quadrant should be used for long-term strategizing.
  • Quadrant III is mainly distractions but with high urgency
    The third quadrant is reserved for tasks that are urgent, without being important. Covey recommends minimizing or even eliminating these tasks as they do not contribute to your output. Delegation is also an option here.
  • Quadrant IV is for activities with little to no value. Like, seriously, why are we even stressing about these?
    The fourth and last quadrant focuses on tasks and responsibilities that do not yield any value—items that are unimportant and not urgent. These time wasters should be eliminated at any costs.

Why don’t you go ahead and try this out? This is amazing for productivity and will totally maximize your day – so that you have more time to lounge around and actually enjoy happy hour!

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