Rick Rubin Succeeds Off the Clock

Look, there are plenty of advantages to the modern mode of life and work. More people are executing more work in non-traditional means than ever. With the rapid ease and speed of communication, the concept of a nine to five desk job are almost all but obsolete and with that comes opportunity and new ways to fill your 24-hour day. 

This modern boundaryless work structure isn’t all opportunity, however. Without structured time to clock out and an endless stream of email, most of us are always on the clock and not for the better. 

The way I see it is if there’s anyone to consult with strategies on the subject, it’s our friends from the arts. After all, they, moreso that most, have had to navigate a work/life balance without structure forever. Rick Rubin isn’t just a multi-generational creative legend. He’s also a producer. Since he’s not a recording artist, he’s always producing all the time. This makes him a better avatar than the artists themselves, in my opinion, because he experiences regularity in his work similar to that which most of us manage. 

On the topic of structuring work breaks, Rick Rubin is meticulous about turning off. “If there are no breaks on a daily basis, then there are no breaks at all ever in my life,” he said in a recent interview. His studio sessions run from noon until 7:00pm and not a minute later. Sure, the artist can stay and work, but Rick is off to dinner with his wife. He also was sure to mention he doesn’t bring work outside of the studio. 

For context, he’s been doing this for more than 30 years, so we can benefit from his mistakes. So, rather than email from our phones 18-hours a day to grave consequences, we can listen to a living legend who has found boundaries in a boundaryless career. 

“I probably spent 25 years of my life in dark rooms with no windows often past the point of productivity out of some other thought of thinking I was going to miss something, which I don’t believe I did.” 

Rubin believes this isn’t just about self-preservation and balance, either. He cites his built-in structures to distance himself from his work as a secret weapon to doing better work.

You heard it here, folks.

Rick Rubin makes more platinum tracks by specifically not working on music. “Having perspective. Being able to step away or, even better, being able to work on something else really changes your relationship to it,” he declares. “You’re hearing it closer to the way other people hear it.”

So, the million dollar question is when are you off the clock?

12/16/20 WOD


[Meet at Anderson Park]


[Meet at Pan Pacific Park]



Clean Deadlift

Then, take 8 minutes to find a Heavy Single Barbell Thruster..

Then, AMRAP 2
KB Swings (53/35)

-Rest 3 min-

Double Unders

-Rest 3 min-

KB Swings