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couldn´t go faster for me, this is my nature, this is who I am, a restless full-time-entrepreneur with plenty of creativity.
I can say this now, but this self-awareness came after a long time of being reckless and forced to be "just average" through my parents, society, schools and the jobs I did.
In years when I worked on the assembly line and try to fit into the 8-to-5 job this restlessness made me ill, literally and physically. I had a hard time to become mentally calm and find my inner pace and balance.
Since 2 years now I work freelance and since 6 month now we have a daughter, and I have never been so busy and never been so calm at once, how is that?
This blog post is personal and the points below work for me, this doesn´t necessary mean they work for everyone. But chances are that you find something useful in it.
What is Time?
For me time is valuable, a precious gift that was given to me from my parents, it probably lasts the lifetime of an average human and is limited to just one. I embrace what I can do in this time and I´m thankful that I´m healthy enough to enjoy and share my time with like-minded people..
Quality Time or Waste?
I found that quality time is for every person something different, for me its time to be with the loved ones as also being with my artist self and create art for me or for others.
Since I started out freelancing its also that time I use to market, promote, share and everything else that is needed to get the word out about my passion. And so I enjoy interacting with fellow artists and clients.
Earlier in my life I had this feeling that 8 hours of my day were simply wasted. Now there are at least 12 hours a day that I enjoy.
Time-Thieves and Things that Seriously Steal your Time
There is something that I observed for quite a while and found no workaround except for keeping my eyes open all the time. For what you ask? For things or persons who steal time. Its obvious that we waste a lot of time on friends who we thought were friends but when we are in need they don´t care, the client who wants the best thing but won´t pay anything, technical things that always break, a car that only works half the time... you get the idea.
Its not only the time we waste on such things, but also a waste of emotional labor that would have been better applied to people around us who deserve it.
Call them vampires, they sit everywhere lurking and waiting for a victim to turn to. Just be no victim.
The Myth of Multitasking
You´ve heard of that myth that women can better multitask than men, its not true, at least not 100%.
If you have a hands-free-set, you can do a phone call and make household work or drive a car while doing so. You can also hear a useful E-book or a podcast while working on a computer instead of music this is both valuable and time-saving. OK, reading and listening to your wife can still cause issues, so I wouldn´t take responsibility for any harms through that one.
Online = Procrastination?
No not really, at least for me.
I sure use twitter and facebook and this blog, but I see updating these as a gift and duty to give the community something back. A contribution if you want so.
Sure, if you have a deadline approaching and feel tied to twitter or play games instead, than it can be a serious problem, one that should be solved before it is too late.
The TIA -"Think-In-Advance" Approach
I use to be a pragmatic all my time, so it comes naturally for me to think in advance whenever I have to go my route or one way. Taking the used coffee-mug, the empty water bottle and the laptop down into the kitchen after waking up, to fill the dishwasher, the bag for empty bottles and to read my news after that., then, time is saved and its simple as that. Multiply these over 5 times a day, a week, a month and a year, you can guess how much time can be saved for important things.
Here is a list of everyday things I can do to save a little time for important things:
- First of all: learn to set priorities, otherwise the fancy stuff listed below isn´t going to work
- Make use of the Pareto-principle
- If you can´t solve a problem at first, get away from it, and use the "anger-time" for something useful, get back to it at a later time with a fresh pair of eyes and mindset.
- Try to get the right friends, clients, roommates, partners, etc it saves a huge amount of time.
- Get the right mindset, that helps you turn down the lizard-brain and achieve your goals.
- Learn about the GTD -(Get Things Done) method
- Think (not plan!) eventualities ahead as far as possible, for the next hour, for the next day
- Write sticky notes and don´t read them, do the things so you can throw the notes away after the "things-are-done"
- Do multitasking, wherever possible and whenever no quality or security has to suffer through it
- Avoid time-thieves, bloodsuckers, vampires and time-robbing things that break all the time, buy stuff that works, not breaks, even if its more expensive, it will save you time.
- Don´t drive faster, plan ahead and take the fastest route instead.
- Keep your mail-inbox clean, make use of the GTD -method and use a mailprogram that supports smart inbox -handling like Gmail for example
- Don´t work just hard, work smart and put emotional labor in what you do.
- Don´t do everything alone, learn to delegate and to outsource tasks you can assign to someone else
- Don´t procrastinate and thrash yourself at the end of a project, do it in advance or at the beginning
- Find a job that is fun to do and you never have to work a single day in your life (quoted)
- Be rather active than passive (limit television for example) a passive lifestyle is counterproductive and unhealthy too
- Shop online if the city is crowded and parking a horror
- Eliminate distractions
- Be patient and forget about sent letters, this is the key to stay calm while doing all the things above
Below you find some valuable sources about time-mangement for freelancers, I highly recommend also the video from Randy Pausch about time-management, I promise these are the best spent 70 minutes about that topic ever.
Other than that, this is part of my "end-of-the-year" reflection and I´m astounded how much I´ve achieved throughout this year, so this post is rather a note to myself.
Feel free to comment if you have any additional suggestions or share your own experience about that topic.
What is time for you, or how do you solve problems regarding work, freelancing and time?
For this is my last post in 2010 I wish everyone a merry Christmas and a happy new year.