For the past two weeks I’ve been tracking every 15 minute interval of my life. I’ve borrowed this time-tracking practice from Laura Vanderkam, who writes helpful books including 168 Hours, which outlines the practice in a lot of detail.One of Laura’s principles is that “you have more time than you think.” Through her research, she’s found that most people who claim to work more than 50 hours a week tend to over report their work hours, sometimes dramatically so. In other words, a lot of the time they think they’re working, they’re not. It’s not just that their priorities are out of order; they also waste a lot of time. Read More
Before my dad packed up his cubicle and moved to a beachside office, he created a spreadsheet that displayed the number of days that remained until his retirement age.It soon became a topic of dinner table conversation: “Hey, Dad, how much longer at the day job?” I’d ask. He’d respond with something like, “Oh, I don’t know exactly . . . well, I guess I do. Looks like I have 673 days and 4 hours to go.” When you’re trying to escape a dead-end job or any other undesirable situation, create a calendar and count down the days to freedom. Read More
Over the past few months, I've been interviewing people for my upcoming book on dream jobs. Many of the people I’ve talked to are really busy—they've found or created their dream job, but they also tend to do a lot of other stuff as well. Some of them have side businesses or run ultramarathons on the weekends. Some of them have active family lives. Some of them do all those things... and more. I don't always ask the same questions of interviewees, but one tends to come up pretty often: "How do you find the time?"
I liked this answer I heard yesterday:
"It's less about how do I find time and more about why do I find time. You'll always find time for things that have a strong enough why."Read More
Deciding how you value your time can help you make decisions. But how do you really know what your time is worth?
It’s partly a hypothetical question, because you don’t always get to choose how much money you'll make or how much free time you'll have.
And it’s partly a practical question, because sometimes you do get to choose. Life is all about making choices, some of which are exclusive and limit us from other opportunities.
A free tool guides you to your own answer of "How much is your time worth" in both hypothetical and practical scenarios.Read More
It’s a challenging thought: “How would you live if you learned you only had three months left?”Most of us would probably make some changes, or at least we’d think long and hard about “what matters.” If your job sucks, you’d probably quit. You might travel to that place you’ve always dreamed of. You might pursue a long-time dream that you never got around to until now. And you’d almost certainly aim to restore harmony in any broken relationships, and perhaps say farewell to as many friends as possible. Read More
I once caught bronchitis, and it lasted for more than a week. I spent much of the day sleeping or complaining.
But of course, I still had to work sometime. My energy level was constantly low, but every so often I'd muster enough strength to work through a few tasks or half-heartedly reply to emails before crashing on the couch.
The rest of the time, when I wasn’t sleeping or complaining, I was on the couch reading or watching bad TV shows on my iPad. Once in a while I’d be inspired to boil water for herbal tea. It was rough—even worse than the dreaded man flu.Read More
I've been working on a new, non-profit writing project that I'll share tomorrow. Here's a preview of the concept—for more on the project itself, see the note at the end or check back tomorrow.
A specter is haunting the internet. Everywhere you go, you hear about how you should slow down. First it was slow food (a good thing). Then there was slow living (not so good) and the rejection of striving and effort (even worse). The central part of this message is: “There's plenty of time. Stop hurrying and take it easy. Bake cakes, play in the forest, do what you want.”Read More
Have you heard the one about the end of time? Yep—it's on the way.
Every day, we lose another 1,440 minutes that will never return. Farewell, minutes! Goodbye, opportunities.
The other day I noticed I had been thinking "I'll do that in the summer" about a lot of things.
Then I realized, hey, it's late August already ... seriously? How did that happen?Read More