Working at home is one of the greatest pleasures in life. A lot of people only appreciate it when it’s a brief reprieve from being in an office. They quickly find that prolonged periods in your own apartment can make you a little stir crazy. But if waking up at 11 and typing in bed until 5 in the afternoon is a recipe for crazy, then I’m completely out of my fucking mind. It’s the only way I can live.
Going into an office provides structure, and within that structure are motivators to make sure you do your work. The most fundamental is the fear of losing your job. This is a great motivator in the short term, but it’s absolutely not sustainable for a human being. Several years of playing the politics necessary to hold a job can really screw a person up. I’ve met people like this, and it’s never pretty. They often complain about how they don’t get to do the things that made them love their work in the first place, never realizing that not getting fired is a full-time job.
Because I work on my own, the fear of losing my job doesn’t exist for me. Instead, I’m faced with the task of motivating myself to work. Whether I like it or not, the best method is guilt. I know that I’m free to stay up as late as I want, smoke weed the moment I wake up, and take a two-hour break in the middle of the morning to watch four episodes of Seinfeld back to back. I also know that I will feel like a lazy sack of shit afterward. There’s no one standing over me and tapping their watch, so I have to keep reminding myself that my own time is my own money. That’s still not enough to make me sleep like a normal person.
I loathe waking up early in the morning. It is one of the most unpleasant feelings ever and it is beyond me why the world has decided that 9 AM is a good time to start hustling. Even those who say they are morning people would probably sleep a few extra hours if no one was breathing down their neck. My theory is that morning people are just people who drink coffee. There’s no way you can like waking up unless you have a powerful, addictive stimulant to do the heavy lifting for you.
Rather than the clockwork schedule that seems to grind so many into the ground, I follow whatever weird pattern my body chooses. Usually, this schedule is inconsistent with the revolutions of the earth. On one day, I’ll crash at 4 AM, on the next at 5 AM, and so on, sleeping and rising an hour later each day. Inevitably, my pattern will match up with normal society for a day or two, and suddenly all my guilt is gone. But before long, I’m going to bed at sunrise again. Even though I prefer the chaos, it makes me feel kind of shitty. As detached as I am from the cycle of life around me, some element of me just wants to be on the same schedule.
Whether through guilt or sheer stoned will power, I always manage to get a lot done. I attribute my productivity to steady blazing throughout the waking hours. It’s the ultimate cure for a creative block when you’re in your own space. Being high in an office doesn’t have the same freeing effect. Instead, it turns into paranoia that your coworkers might discover you’re stoned or that you’ll say something exceedingly weird to someone important. At this stage in my career, anyone that I work for likely knows that I’m usually high. In many cases, that’s exactly the perspective they want from me, but I can’t express it when I’m surrounded by alert, sober people. It feels like an inappropriate place to be high, and in my mind places like that shouldn’t even exist. Beyond smoking, I need to be able to twiddle a joint in my teeth while I’m typing, and break up a nug with my fingers while I’m thinking. Anything less, and I’m just churning out strings of dry sentences.
A few people have told me that this is a terrible work ethic. Those who blindly follow the universal timetable can’t imagine a life where every day is different and time flows unconstrained by convention. For me, following a schedule isn’t living at all. I’m doomed to feel out of sync with my environment for the rest of my life, but if the price of normalcy is routine, then I prefer to remain an oddity.
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