Don’t tell my Bible thumping friends I said this, but the older I get, the more I question whether another life exists beyond this one.
I don’t wanna hang my hopes on an uncertain afterlife. All I know is what I have right now–and what I have is limited.
When I tell people that I quit my job, their eyes light up. Many express how they wish they could do the same. They can, but they won’t. Why? Two big demotivators usually come up:
Fear of Failure
Naturally, we wanna win. Losing sucks so bad that we don’t keep score at kids’ ballgames anymore. Apparently, failure is too traumatic for our nation’s children.
Lack of Time
If you’re like most people, you’re reluctant to give up a “sure thing.” You want a dependable source of income before you leave your job. That makes sense. We can start a side business! Oh, but wait, you’re too busy.
We’ll deal with fear another day. Today, let’s find you some time.
Weed Out Time Wasters
Being busy doesn’t mean you’re productive. Many activities eat up a lot of time and provide little benefit.
Do you really think your child will become a better person because you drag them to ballet, gymnastics, and karate every week?
You’re running yourself ragged. And for what? So that your kid can be terrible in three sports instead of one?
Like money, you can waste time on almost anything.
Bad relationships: Don’t squander time on people who make you miserable. Not only are you unhappy when you’re with them, but even when they’re not around, you’re mentally anguished. Which makes it harder for you to get things done. George Washington nailed it when he said, “It is better to be alone than in bad company.”
Procrastination: Sometimes procrastination is pretty harmless. I mean, what’s the worst that can happen if you let your All You Magazine subscription expire? On the other hand, wait too long to get a cavity filled, and you’ve created more work for yourself. Your tooth won’t magically fix itself. So, either spend an hour and $250 dealing with it now or three hours and $1,250 dealing with it later.
Disorganization: If you frequently buy items you already own, then it’s time to get it together, honey. Organizing your home doesn’t have to be a complicated process. Throw out (or donate) crap you don’t use, and put the rest where you can find it. A key hook and clear shoe boxes will change your life.
Television: The average American watches about nineteen hours of television per week. That’s a part-time job. Are you truly amused by the shows you watch, or do you use them to avoid work?
E-Mail: How often do you get emails that require an instant reply? Don’t answer that; I already know. Urgent AND important emails are a rarity indeed. Log out of your email accounts. Turn off message notifications on your phone. If your friends, family, or coworkers desperately need to contact you, tell them to do it the old fashioned way, and CALL!
Wake Up Early
In Quitter, Jon Acuff brilliantly explains why you should roll out of bed early:
The excuses haven’t really woken up yet. They’re still snoring. . . If you wait until the night to work on your dream, you will often spend the whole day gathering up material for excuses on why you shouldn’t do what it is you feel called to do . . . The only excuse you have to deal with is being tired, but that one you can work through over time. Or forget working through it over time. Go to bed earlier.
Question Your Routine
From how you get to work to how you prepare meals to how you do your hair, critically think about how you can finish everyday tasks more quickly.
Here’s an example. For most of my life, I’ve taken long bubble baths.
About a year or so ago, I switched to showers. That saved me a few minutes, but the pressure of the hot water is so relaxing I linger in the shower longer than necessary.
Now, I shut off the water when I’m lathering up. Being naked in a chilly bathroom is uncomfortable, and I try to get the heck out of there as fast as possible.
Do the Most Important Work First
Begin your day with the highest priority tasks. If you don’t finish every item on your to-do list, the fallout is less severe.
I know procrastination is hard to avoid, so try not to stress if you put off the most agonizing assignments. Just stay productive. Meaning, don’t use the time you should be performing market research to catch up on past episodes of Modern Family.
Instead of goofing off, clean out your refrigerator, read a non-fiction book, or tackle any other item on your to-do list that’s more fun. At least you’ll get something done.
Know When to Outsource
Use the money earned from your day job to buy time. Free up parts of your day by outsourcing household chores and other time consuming activities.
Start with the little things. Instead of hiring a maid to clean your house once a week, how about paying someone to wash and fold your laundry?
You could shop for groceries online, and pick them up when they’re ready. I know it’s not a national supermarket, but Harris Teeter charges less than $5 to do your grocery shopping for you. If you don’t have a Harris Teeter in your neighborhood, check to see if local grocers offer a similar service.
Although many frugalites tout the savings that come along with shunning pre-cut foods, e.g., shredded cheese, broccoli florets, the time you save in food prep may be worth the investment.
The number of hours in a day are fixed. There’s nothing you can do to change that, so don’t waste time complaining about how busy you are. If starting a side business is important to you, you’ll figure out how to fit one into your life.
Check out the complementary video to this blog post at It Is Possible to Save Both Time and Money.