Braid Creative’s ecourse on Personal Branding (affiliate link) has an exercise where you rewrite the rules you were living under at a desk job to fit your creative entrepreneur lifestyle. The first time I did the exercise, not long after I left my day job, I had a lot to write about. But more recently, when I took the course again, I sat there staring at a blank page, thinking surely I had broken free of all the rules of my former life.

I mean, I’m the girl who hits the snooze button at least three times and typically doesn’t sit down to my computer until at least 10 a.m. I take random afternoon mani/pedi breaks. I work until midnight if I feel like it and take the morning off the next day.

Turns out, there are still some society standards I’m holding onto that may not be the best fit for my work and lifestyle. I recently had a call with a client who spent the last couple months in France, and she was telling me about taking long lunch breaks and having her big meal of the day during that time and keeping dinner light. This idea was revolutionary to me. Taking a few hours off in the middle of the day to enjoy a big meal? No way! And that’s when I realized: I’m still hanging on to the 9-5, I just moved it back an hour or so.

There are some 9-5 work standards that might not fit your lifestyle.Click To Tweet

It’s one of those little things that never occurred to me before but has the potential to make a big impact on my life. You know the 2:00 slump? It’s real, y’all. At least for me. Without fail, I start poking around on Twitter and Facebook around 2:00 and progress on my to-do list grinds to a halt. So why do I force myself to keep working? I’ve been hanging on to the idea that if I don’t put in 8 straight hours a day of work, I’m not being productive enough.

So I made a change. Lately, when I start to lose myself in the vortex of Buzzfeed articles, blog posts on productivity (if I’m not being productive, then reading about it counts, right?), and countless stuff I’ve already read in some form or another, that’s my cue to get off the computer. Go cook a meal. Take a shower. Clean up around the apartment. Go grocery shopping. These are all things that improve my quality of life — and, let’s be honest, many probably wouldn’t get done if I left them to the end of the day (which is why more days end in takeout than I’d like to admit).

No one’s telling me I have to get back to work after a 30 minute break. After a two hour break, I can get more done the following hour than if I had powered through all three. Plus, grocery shopping in the middle of the day has some major perks — besides the obvious lack of lines, I can easily avoid that horrible experience of wandering the aisles hungry, grabbing everything in sight only to leave without the one thing I desperately needed.

What rules are you still holding on to?

P.S. If you’re interested, registration for Braid’s Personal Branding ecourse is open now through February 19.