I’ve been fortunate enough to transition into full-time self-employment, which means that I can work from home and set my own hours.
Before, when I heard people talking about these notions, the benefits seemed so-so. As I saw it, sure, you can set your own hours — but who wants to work on a Saturday, when your family and friends are having fun? It seemed to me that even with a flexible schedule, you’d still choose to work 9-to-5.
And that’s true: I still do work “normal” hours, for the most part. But I’m also discovering the huge benefit to being able to run errands in the middle of the day, in order to avoid rush-hour traffic. Or the benefits of scheduling apppointments at times that nobody else can.
Here are my 9 favorite things about setting my own hours.
#1: Freedom to do what I like. Working a 9-to-5 job eliminates flexibility in my social life.
For example: If a friend is driving through my city for just one afternoon, and I can’t make my own hours, I might not be able to get lunch with that person. But if I make my own hours, I can work around the schedule of the people I love.
#2: I am my own boss. Instead of waiting on someone to make my weekly schedule for me, I can now choose what hours I want to work and plan my life accordingly. I do not have to listen to anyone about when I need to be at work and when I have to leave.
#3: I can go on vacation whenever I like. Instead of waiting on a boss to approve my “vacation time,” I now get to choose when I want to leave for a 3-day weekend trip. No more “time off requests” or waiting around until my vacation time has accumulated.
#4: If I’m sick I can take time off. Being able to make my own hours has changed the way I handle sickness. If I don’t feel good enough to work, I won’t. (After all, what’s the point of “going into work” but being unproductive?) This helps me recover more quickly, which means I’m operating at full capacity again.
#5: Results trump efforts. Now that I set my own schedule, I find that work is less about how long I do it and more about what I can get accomplished. If I accomplish all my goals for the day in three hours, then why should I work 10?
#6: More time with my family. I can now plan my work schedule around my family’s schedule. This allows me to spend quality time with each member of the family.
#7: I like going to work now. Now that I work on my own schedule, I find that it is easier to get up in the morning and get what I need to do done. I have more enthusiasm and more energy. Working on your own schedule is truly a blessing.
#8: I achieve more. I have discovered that I actually accomplish more than when I am restricted to working only during certain hours of the day. If I give myself tight deadlines, I can usually work more efficiently and meet those deadlines. And that allows me to take the rest of the day off.
#9: I am happier. Nothing feels better than being able to work when you want to work, and setting my own work hours has helped me experience that joy.
Kennedi writes about women’s frugality tips at Face & Fitness. Read her post about How to Dress Stylishly When You’re Broke.
My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.