A fisherman’s work day is as inconstant as the moon, his schedule is dictated by the tides. A farmers work load varies with the seasons. A painter’s workday is dependent on sunlight.
‘9 to 5’ has become shorthand for a real job.
It wasn’t always this way.
Until machine industry, work ebbed and flowed. The workday was irregular and the lines between work and life were blurred. The job at hand was dictated by natural rhythms: the tides, the seasons, the light.
As Antonia Case writes for Womankind magazine, this mirrors the behavior of university students, artists and writers today. They ‘have spells of light work followed by times of almost complete engagement in the work process’.
We tend to call this procrastination.
E.P Thompson, a historian and writer, calls it the ‘natural human work rhythm’. He argues that when we have control over our jobs we typically chose this pattern.
As freelancers and creatives we often have this control and this choice: the schedule or our natural rhythm?; the clock or the moon?
For me, the moon wins every time.