Entrepreneurship is like, so hot right now.
The #1 reason for the boom?
YOU CRAVE FREEDOM.
I crave it, too.
Freedom to do whatever I want whenever I want.
Freedom to live in an foreign country and not have it affect my income.
Freedom to peace out of town on a moment's notice if I so please, thankyouverymuch.
I want this freedom so badly that, in 2011, I quit my day job and did all of the above. I figured, "Why wait?" and proceeded to purchase a one-way ticket to Paris.
Once in Paris, each day's schedule depended on how I felt that morning. On some days I rank wine at cafés during the day and worked at night. On others, I hid in my cave all day and wrote. I wasn't sure where I was going, so I tackled each day as it came.
Wrong. It was totally and utterly and seriously stressful.
The problem? I had too much freedom.
Yes, that's a thing. In fact, I had so many choices that I became paralyzed.
Fortunately, I was insightful enough to start paying attention to the culture around me. I started to take notes on how the French handled freedom, and...
In the midst of my freedom fatigue, I implemented a very French system: the cadre.
The cadre is neither a micromanaged routine or chaotic freedom. The word cadre is French for "frame". The idea is simple: you enforce a few strict barriers around your time, and within those barriers, you are free.
Here's what a cadre looks like for an entrepreneur's schedule:
- 7:00 wake up
- 8:00 - 12:00 work
- 12:00 - 1:00 lunch
- 1:00 - 3:00 work
- 3:00 - 5:00 exercise
- 8:00 dinner
- 11:00 bed
At first glance, this may look like a normal schedule. The trick is to leave it be. Don't add details on top of it. When you're "working", work. Don't eat lunch. Don't exercise. Don't start telling yourself that you'll work until midnight tonight so that you won't have to do anything tomorrow. That kind of attitude is exhausting, unsustainable and frankly, no fun at all.
Once you've spent a few weeks with your cadre you'll have better focus, stop snacking, and will feel less stressed about work when you go to bed.
Guidelines for following a cadre:
- Only schedule the most important things like work, exercise, eating, and sleeping.
- Don't take it too seriously (i.e. if you're running 30minutes late, that's no cause for alarm. The French are always running late).
- If you've been productive throughout the week, do whatever you want on Friday.
- When it's time to stop working. Stop.
- Notice that scheduling meal times is just as important as scheduling work times.
Go ahead - design your own cadre!
Tell me in the comments: what does your ideal cadre look like?
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