So why would a person, before or after a full day of work, take on MORE work in the form on a 5-8 or a side-hustle? Why not just throw yourself on the couch and get lost of 12 episodes of something?
Because it's a very good idea to distribute your emotional eggs.
You know the phrase, "Don't put all your eggs in one basket". The purpose being a lesson in distributing your money, effort, etc so that you're not 100% dependent on ONE thing.
The same thing applies to your 5-8s and emotional needs too. Why would you put all of your emotional needs into one basket--aka your day job, a thing that you don't 100% get to control.
How many of you have had a terrible, horrible, very bad day because of work?
- You didn't get that promotion
- Your project got cancelled
- You got into an argument with your co-worker
- You didn't feel heard,
- Worst: you lost your job
We've all been there, but those who have a 5-8 can put it aside and focus on their own thing where they get to make 100% of the decisions. Think of your 5-8 as an extra basket you can distribute your emotional eggs into so they're not all in the work or family baskets.
Why give a few people (your boss and some co-workers) 100% control over how you feel about yourself at work? Set up a 5-8 to do work for yourself (again, it doesn't have to pay--YET) and YOU get to reset a bad day into whatever kind of day you want.
Years ago at my day job, I was working on a code project that meant a LOT to me. A HUGE feature. I wrote so much of it myself. Got it kind-of working. Demo'ed to execs. They were hesitant and weren't sure of quality. Because we were super close to launch, it got cut. It was devastating because this was around six months of work for my team and I. Total heartbreak.
What did I do? I went home and draped a mini-ballgown on my dressform for fashion school. I worked for 6 hours on it that night. Not only did my ballgown not get cancelled but it went onto become my graduation project for fashion school and something I love to this day.
Another area where the 5-8 has been VERY helpful for me was during job loss. Very early on in my career, the company I worked for pre-Microsoft was having massive layoffs. Every Monday, they would have layoffs. I watched my co-workers, my mentors, NEW HIRES get laid off, one Monday after another. I started job-hunting of course, watching this chaos happen. I was writing fiction novels at the time and every evening, I would go home and pour my helplessness and despair into these novels in between job hunting.
Then one day, my turn came to be laid-off. I was expecting it, but it was still incredibly devastating. I felt like a total failure and questioned whether I even belonged in tech. I went home. Wrote for 4 hours. Felt much more in control.
For the entire next month as I prep'ed for interviews, interviewed, anxiously awaited results from said interviews...I wrote my fiction novel. The book I FINALLY finished during that terrible time was the one a literary agent wanted to represent and the one HarperCollins picked up for their Young Adult imprint in 2007. It was also very fun putting "fiction author" on my resume. EVERY hiring manager asked me about it and thought it was incredibly cool. In fact, one of my interviewers from Microsoft reached out after to ask me for references for writing classes.
My 5-8 has been one of my best ways to deal when things don't go my way at the day job. Turn to the side thing. Make progress. Feel great. Gain control of your life and emotions again.
I've love to hear your stories of distributing emotional eggs so drop them in the comments on LinkedIn or Twitter!
Dona is the co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of Prima Dona Studios, a fashion line that helps women achieve economic power. There are a million fashion lines in the world--but how many of them count some of the most powerful women in tech and business as their customers? How many of them have a mission of spreading that economic power to 1B women all over the world? We do. Find us here: https://primadonastudios.com/