Sometimes there are times that your normal work day just doesn´t work for you because something better is out there. Take this week for me, for example. I live in Western Canada in Calgary. This week is the Calgary Stampede, the self-proclaimed Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth. It´s a 10 day fair with a parade and a multi-million dollar rodeo and a bunch of wild insanity called chuckwagon races and all the crowds and smells and fireworks that a good fair has. The city completely embraces it and turns into one big party – everyone wears blue jeans and cowboy hats and eats pancakes and drinks beer. It´s pretty much my favorite time of the year.
In an ideal world I would just take the whole week off and immerse myself in the Stampede. There´s still work to be done, though, even during this great week. My goal, then, is to find the best way to get my work done while still enjoying all of the fun that I possibly can. I do it by turning my clock upside down.
The first thing I have to do is prioritize. Pancake breakfasts are a big part of the Stampede. The rodeo happens every afternoon. The chuckwagon races happen each evening. I can´t do all of them and still get my work done, so I skip the breakfasts because they are least important to me. The rodeo is the biggest priority, and I have to leave the house by 1:00 to make it down there in time. That means I have to have work done by then. I do that in two ways. First, I start my day an hour and a half or two hours earlier. Second, I set myself that firm deadline, tell myself that I need to be done by the deadline, and just put my head down and work like a demon.
Sometimes I need a bit more time to get things done. That´s what the late night is for. Once I get home from whatever I have been doing, I sometimes have to sit down for a couple of hours and finish up whatever needs to be done.
That´s what I mean by turning the clock upside down. Normally, I work during the day and try to have at least part of the evenings free. This week I work so that my free time comes in the afternoon and early evening. I get to enjoy the important parts of this great event, and I still get as much done this week as I normally would in a week. It´s likely not a schedule that would be sustainable over a long period of time, but for a week it works great. It´s still a work week, but the change of the clock makes it seem almost like a holiday.