‘Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life’ — Steve Jobs
One of the best things about being more free and in control of your work life gives you is greater control over your time.
As I say this, I have just got up at my usual time of 6am (ugh!) to write a book. I get up, pour myself a cup of tea, sit in my dressing gown, open my laptop, start writing, and don’t stop until I’ve reached my 500 word target.
When I was working for someone else it would be hard to do this, for a few reasons:
- I would probably have to get ready soon and start my commute and the thought of this may stress me out. It would be playing on my mind.
- In my full time job I would usually have had a huge demanding workload, and be more stressed
- I would be forced to sit at a computer for a further 9 hours a day, even if I didn’t feel like it
In fact, those reasons were the reason I became a digital nomad, particularly the last one.
When I worked in an office doing a 9–5 job, I seriously struggled. I work quite fast, and sometimes I’d have a super productive day, burning through tons of tasks, and then by 2:30/3pm, I’d be ready to go home.
I would have exhausted all of my mental energy, yet I still had 2 hours, sometimes 3, before I was allowed to go home.
This to me was absolutely soul destroying. I knew I had done great work; I knew I had achieved in 6 hours what a lot of people achieve in 8, but yet I had to sit here, pretending to look busy for the next two hours, or finding myself jobs to do that I really didn’t have the energy for.
The biggest problem for me was not actually having the time — it was not having the energy.
Without energy, we can’t create. We can’t think up new solutions. We can’t take ourselves in a different path. We just end up feeling ‘stuck’, tired, and frustrated.
I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve been sad at a desk for thinking that thought. All I could think is ‘I want my freedom!’ and since I’ve had it, I’m so grateful that I don’t feel like that anymore.
You can too.
When time becomes your own, it can become your friend instead of your enemy. You can meld into it, flow with it, instead of watching it miserably.
How do you do this?
By filling your life with things that really mean something to you.
Sure, money is important, but so are memories that you’ve enjoyed something in your day — time out for a nap, for meditation, to catch up with a friend, or to try a new recipe.
Let’s get thinking about your time. What would you do if you had more control over it, and the energy to spend it in the way you want?
The most valuable currency we all have is time itself. It is a gift we have, we don’t know how long we have got, and we can spend it in whatever way we choose.
Some of us waste it, some of us save it, but one things for sure — we never know just how precious it is until we have very little of it left.
If there’s one thing I have learned, it is never ever too late to do what you’d love to do. Even if you are 90 years old. Time can shackle us sometimes, because we get caught up in what we ‘should’ be doing at our age, but it doesn’t have to.
Time is the only currency we have that we spend which we can never get back.
What will you do with your daily 86,400 seconds?