I used to have an excuse. My excuse was time, that slippery little devil.
You probably have the same excuse. You dream of having more time so you can do something meaningful. If you had more time, you could give your freelance career wings, quit your day job, earn more money, write a novel, achieve all your hopes and dreams and shoot rainbows out your ass.
Where Does the Time Go?
Like you, the older I get, the faster time ticks away. Now that I have responsibilities, the things I used to wait for in anticipation sneak up on me as I prepare for them. I have to get a birthday gift, anniversary card, plan the bachelorette party, and then BAM, Grandma is 75, my parents are celebrating their 30th anniversary and all of my best friends are married. These days life propels me forward at a pace that is hard to match. So I do my best to keep up.
In addition, I find myself surrounded by technological time suckers – google, my iphone, facebook, twitter, the TV – dangerous little attention-grabbers that slowly suck away time until it’s 2 pm and I find myself still sitting on my couch in my pjs, holding a stale cup of coffee. Time suckers constantly compete with productivity.
I’ve Been Given the Gift, and Squandered It
When I got laid off from my job, the one silver lining was the gift of time. Time to write, time to market, time to send my freelance writing career into a flourish.
Oh, how wrong I was.
More time does not beget more productivity.
My vision: waking up at 7:30, sending my hubby out the door to his job, sitting at the kitchen table with a hot cup o’ joe, and a complete and balanced breakfast. Whipping out my laptop and relentlessly pounding away all hours of the day. Meeting with new and potential clients. Grabbing lunch with friends at the local organic cafe. Having dinner on the table, a clean house, and a pile of money.
Reality: I roll out of bed from a dead sleep around 8:15. Throw on a grubby sweatshirt. Let the dog out. Brew some coffee. Turn on the TV so I can enjoy the company of my friends on the Today Show. Finally get in the shower around 10. Browse my favorite blogs. Apply to a job or two. Before I know it, my husband is home, and I’m frantically throwing one of our go-to meals together. Have accomplished nothing substantial. House is in dissaray. There’s no pile of money anywhere (I looked!). But it’s okay, because there’s always tomorrow.
The truth is that I got much more done when I was working. I knew I only had a few precious hours per day to write, market myself, read, invest in my business, and still be able to relax at the end of the day. I had structure, and deadlines. I had goals and determination.
More time has given me time to think, and to recharge my battery. But I need to get back to work. To get up at a decent hour. To get in the shower right away instead of lollygagging the morning away. Turn off the TV. Work hard again, so that I have a reason to relax.
In the end, time is irrelevent. Action. Doing. Moving forward instead of being paralyzed by excuses. Motion fosters results.
I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.
~ Leonardo da Vinci
And I’d like to add: Time is not enough. We must act.