June 11, 2020 I sat down at my computer at 9am ready to start the day. This would be my first full day of teaching myself to code full time. I remember being so excited that I filled out my calendar for the next month jam packed with a strict schedule.
6am-9am: Exercise and eat Breakfast
9am-12pm: Code with Treehouse
12pm-1pm: Drive for DoorDash (Lunch)
2pm-5pm: Work on coding project
5pm-8pm: Drive for DoorDash (Dinner)
I knew that if I would stick to that schedule I would be successful, otherwise I would be undisciplined and get nothing done.
For 4 months straight I have stuck to this strict routine and am a perfect human being.... HA just kidding. The schedule above literally lasted for ONE day. By the end of the day I felt like I couldn't breathe.
It took me a few weeks to realize that I have complete freedom to learn right now. The issue was that I didn't trust myself. I did not believe that I could keep myself focused, accountable, and motivated. What actually happened was that I became my own boss. Through this learning journey, I have been both the boss everyone hates, and the boss that everyone respects.
😡 I micromanaged every little thing that I did. If I didn't start coding at 9am sharp I became very stressed. I was irritated with myself and basically gave myself a mental smackdown for being "undisciplined".
😡 I was a bully and unless I achieved a certain amount, I forced myself to work overtime. This made my time less productive and just all around more stressful.
😡 I did was focused more on criticizing what I was NOT doing right rather than celebrating what I was doing right.
😎 I went with the flow of things, if I did not start right at 9am it was cool... I could just work a little later. I encouraged flexibility for a more balanced work/life.
(Side note: I am not condoning being compulsively late for things. Be considerate and be on time for important meetings.)
😎 I was kind, respectful, loving, and appreciative to myself which gave me confidence and energy and in turn made me more productive and excited about my work.
😎 I celebrated my wins by sharing them on LinkedIn. While I still faced challenges and difficulties, I have looked at them with determination to solve the problem rather than with criticism of myself.
We have probably all experienced horrible bosses, and we would all prefer to have the boss that everyone respects. The one who is supportive, encouraging, flexible, and not breathing down our neck.
When on the journey of learning full time, remember that YOU are your boss right now. Are you the boss that everyone hates, or the one that everyone respects?
It's your choice to be the type of boss that you want to have.
Image graciously borrowed from https://blogjob.com/thebossfromhell/