Nine to Five (Office hours)
A series inspired by C.A CONRAD
Part one: Pack an umbrella. Arrive at your office at 9:00am sharp, it’s really important that you arrive on time. Once you get to your desk choose something to draw with and a surface to work on. Don’t procrastinate, the faster the better! Whatever you pick you must be able to use at your desk. Ok. Now go and make yourself a cup of coffee or buy one if you have too. Do not get distracted. You must not stop for small talk not today or any other day during the next two weeks. You have a job to do. If it is likely that you will be stopped along the way write a polite note beforehand that explains why you are unable to stop and chat. As soon as you have your cup of coffee return to your desk. Now, I want you to close your eyes and reflect upon a time in your life that was hard. Steadily backstroke through all of the bullshit you have been through. Maybe you lost yourself, maybe you didn’t admit it. Take your time. It can be anything and you don’t have to tell anyone. Settled on something? Great! Now begin to draw your memory of it. DRAW! DRAW! DRAW! Don’t be precious just let it out! Act as if the memories are an extension of your body and they’re leaking from your fingertips! This may surface unpleasant emotions. Don’t worry, just roll with it. Doing this in order seems to be somewhat helpful and please don’t worry about the quality of the sketch this isn’t for anyone but you. Be free. No need for letters or words. Just draw. At the end of the day you should have eight different pieces one per hour. Title them individually.
NB Lunch break: 30 minutes. Between12:00-13:00
Part two: At five o’clock pack your belongings and get ready to go home. If you normally drive today will be different and isn’t that wonderful! You must cross a park, meadow or field. Even if it means the journey will take twice as long, I promise it will be worth it. When you reach a stretch of green find a nearby bench or sit cross-legged on the ground. Your feet must connect with the earth. Now instead of visualising the discomfort you demonstrated earlier, think about the knowledge you have gained. Do you feel proud? I want you to hold yourself. Like you would a baby. Hold yourself the way your mother held you when you were small, and realise that you can hold yourself in this way and you did. Close your eyes. Keep them closed and nurture that feeling for as long as you can.
Begin your day with porridge, and if you don’t like porridge eat it anyways because sometimes in life we all have to do things we don’t want to. Arrive at your desk at 9:00am it’s really important that you arrive on time. Now walk to the nearest corner shop and buy ten pounds worth of post-it notes. Today’s task is simple: Today is about listening to your thoughts. You must write them down on post-it notes. These are for you they are not for anyone else so don’t feel embarrassed if you make a mistake or you think what you have written sounds stupid. It’s not about that. Do NOT throw away any thoughts. At 4pm place all of the post-it notes inside an envelope. Seal the envelope and label: PLEASE OPEN and insert the exact date one year from today. Stow them away somewhere safe. For the next thirty minutes just let the mind do whatever it wants and relax. No need to write anything down. You’re probably exhausted. For the remaining thirty minutes research meditation and all of its benefits.
Day 3, 4 and 5)
Arrive at your desk at 9:00AM. Scan the objects nearby. What are these objects? What do they do? Do they make your life easier? Do you like them? Maybe you hate them! The way they look, the sound they make. Don’t think about it too much, just pick one. Pick the object that appeals to you. Picked it? Ok. Now go and make yourself a cup of coffee and return to your desk. Do not get distracted; YOU MUST NOT GET DISTRACTED. Sit back in your chair. Think about the item you’ve chosen. Think about its name, weight, functionality and durability. Now write a list of all the words that you associate with this object. Explain what it does in the simplest manner you can. Describe the object in plain language as if you are informing someone who has never seen, heard or used this object before. After examining the object create a pointless task using the object that will keep you busy for the next three days. You are to use the object between the hours of 09:00- 17:00. Object is not to be used during your lunch break.
Nine to Five
A series inspired by C.A CONRAD
To carry out todays exercise you will need a pair of headphones and a computer. Arrive at your desk at 9:00. Today, you are going to act like you’re busy doing something very important. This “very important” job must take place on a computer, at your desk and your headphones must always be over or in your ears: regardless of whether you’re actually listening to anything or not. You must not engage with anyone, in person or online. You may send emails but only to your own email address. You must appear completely unavailable and uninterested in everything else around you. If anyone tries to grab your attention politely smile and hint that you are too busy to exchange words and get back to whatever it is that you’re doing. Remember: You are only interested in yourself. Do not to get distracted. At 4:30 I want you to think about living such a life. What would it be like if you never invested any time or effort into anything or anyone other than yourself? How important is human interaction? How important is it to feel accepted and understood? Write it down and send it to someone who needs to hear it.
Today is a normal workday 9:00- 5:00pm. You sign in. You sign out. Do all of the things you have to do. You don’t really have a choice. If you have any time spare sit quietly, close your eyes and watch your thoughts float by.
Day 8, 9 and 10)
Today, you are going to bore the shit out of yourself. You are going to bore yourself as best as you can! You are going to do something completely pointless and meaningless. Pick something from your desk. Anything! Don’t get bogged down as to whether you’ve made the right choice or not just get on with it. Picked it? Great! The point here. There is no point.