Are You Living on Autopilot Mode?

It’s a strange feeling seeing everyone commute to their job early in the morning while I stand on my balcony, drink my coffee and think about what’s the most important thing to do for my own business today.

Just 6 months ago I was in the same spot.

It’s 6 AM in the morning. It’s Monday. The alarm on your phone goes off.

You snooze it for another 10 minutes to escape back into dreams and away from the reality that awaits you. 30 minutes later you rush to get into the shower because somehow you snoozed for 3 times. Now you really need to hurry.


No time. Let’s make a coffee to go and get in the car for the daily commute.

The same car ahead of you like you’ve seen so many times. You are listening to your favorite podcasts and imagine how a life without work would look like. How in the world do those people have time to even podcast while working?

At work you do your thing. You’re good at what you do, somehow you feel just not happy.

But why?

After 9 hours of unenthusiastic work you drive home, you have barely seen the sun this day. You feel sad about this. The rest of your family is waiting for you so you can take a quick dinner together. At least some time with the family!

It’s becoming late and you feel sleepy. Not really the time to work on anything anymore. Perhaps tomorrow.. You turn on episode 600 of the Simpsons and turn your brain off. Feels good to relax.

Almost asleep you remember that you have to get up early tomorrow, it’s time for bed.

You repeat this for 4 more days until you realise that another week passed by.

It’s finally weekend again, your favorite time of the week.

You read about all the side projects people start online to leave their job. You ask yourself how anybody really has enough time for that?

They must be different. You are more busy than them, that’s it perhaps.

But they are not. They are no smarter than you.

You are simply living on Autopilot!
 Can you feel the constant external influence that makes you act in a certain way?

Most of your day feels scheduled (and part of it is) and you feel like the biggest decision of the day is to eat Froot Loops or a healthy smoothie. All days look the same, weeks become months and before you realise it another year has passed.

Are you sometimes thinking time is passing by really fast?

That’s because you are living on autopilot.

You need to turn off that switch in order to take back control over your life. You feel like you have no power to break out of the cycle, but you actually had it in you the whole time!

We are free to decide how we spend our days, and we can decide what to do with our time. Just like old Gandalf put’s it:

“All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to you.”

It’s up to you to decide when you get up in the morning to add some extra sport session or writing for your blog.

It’s up to you which inspirational or educational podcast you listen to on your commute. It’s up to you to put in an additional working session on your own projects in the evening instead of watching Netflix.

There are many ways to get more done while working a full time job. And all of these small changes will help you to turn off your autopilot mode and become more active then reactive.

Choose to not look at your phone the first hour after waking up. Choose to not look at your phone the last hour of the day. Do more of what you think you should do than what others tell you to. Don’t let them take control over your time and thoughts!

If you can turn off your autopilot mode and become more active you will be amazed how much you can achieve. You will live moments differently and be more engaged.

Suddenly, time won’t fly by anymore and you will know what you did in all those weeks that passed by since the last time you looked up.

The best thing about this?

It doesn’t require big massive changes. All it takes is to turn on your brain more often. Take small steps everyday and see where it will take you. Be more mindful throughout the day, don’t just let life happen. Be there when it happens!

I challenge you to start tomorrow: Just do something differently. Try to break out of the cycle that you’ve been in for weeks, months or even years now.

Just for tomorrow. And if you enjoy to turn off the auto pilot, do it the day after tomorrow again. And again. And again. And suddenly it will become the new normal.

You have to control your time, otherwise time will control you.

Escape the Rat Race

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Originally published at on November 24, 2017.

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