“In the fullness of time
A garden to nurture and protect”
- Rush – “The Garden”
I won’t lie.
2020 has been an interesting year.
Needless to say, I’ve gotten a few more grey hairs in the luscious silk like fibers on my skull as the year has gone on, but here we are, winding it down.
I tweet out messages each day as to my mindset on that particular day and lately, my tolerance for bullshit has been at an all-time low.
It’s not been something that I’ve been aware of until I decided to read “4 Hour Work Week” by Tim Feriss.
Do you realize how much time you are wasting daily at work, at home, at other places, simply passing the time doing bullshit that is taking away from what you really are? Your passions are put on the back burner for trying to win an argument on your phone with a dipshit anon on Twitter.
The manosphere, and me in particular, rail against all of this time wasting because I finally realized, in 2020, that my time WAS being wasted big time, especially at work.
When COVID hit, most people cuddled up on the couch, stayed in their pajamas, drank 8 cups of coffee and binge-watched shows they would never watch under normal circumstances. They played video games until they won every single match and got all of the virtual hardware that came with being on the top of your game.
Most saw working from home as an opportunity to sit on their asses. Instead of realizing they had dreams they could now pursue with extra time, they logged into the company Zoom meeting, then logged out, then went back to bed. Their kids, realizing that an 8 hour school day was actually only 1 hour of true work, decided to do the same, as they were watching their parents drool into a cup as they checked out another episode of “Cake Boss”.
So, he we are 150 days after the initial 15 days to stop the spread, and many people haven’t done anything but get worse in their lives. Marriages are ending, nothing has gotten accomplished, and the urge to do something with their lives ended after day 2. Like the people who make New Year’s resolutions at the gym in January, then February 1st, all the newbies are gone, back to their comfy homes and lit screens to escape from a life they don’t want to live, nor do they want to do the work to change it.
It’s fucking depressing, but it’s the way it is.
Take Your Time Back
If you truly want to take your life back, the first thing you must do is do a personal audit of your time. Doesn’t matter where it starts, but you must take specific notes and analyze your day. Mine started at work. I was spending incredible amounts of time on emails and notes that anyone of my other employees could have done, except I chose to because reasons…
All the little shit took up too much of my time, so I decided to change it up. I focused all of my attention on things that were going to need my attention. I worked ahead. I chose to spend time focusing on more important aspects of my life as opposed to the droll and mundane busy work that clogs us all up.
Ask yourself a question. What if you just didn’t answer your emails?
Try it. I stopped checking my email every 10 minutes to now doing it twice a day, sometimes not even that. I find that 99 out of every 100 emails I delete. I find that if an email is indeed important, I’ll determine if it is. And if I don’t answer? If it’s important enough, people know how to get in touch with me.
But here’s the thing.
It’s never important enough. People just think it is.
When you stop to think about it, people who have an acute attack of self importance tend to want to have answers to questions they already know the answers to because they want their bosses to “bless” what they are doing.
It’s CYA (cover your ass) with reckless abandon, to the point where people can’t function or even wipe their ass without a permission slip.
So your job now is to put them out to pasture. They have to make decisions without your constant babysitting, and if they can’t, they need not be in your employ.
You have to let the decisions of your employees fall where they may, all the while, have faith that not responding to every little spark will not cause a gigantic blaze, because, guess what? It won’t.
I started looking at what I was doing everyday, and I found that it was more of wasting time with pointless busy work, responding to emails on shit I didn’t need to, or going over policy that should have been known because no one wanted to get in trouble.
So you have the conversations, you adjust your schedule, you work it into your voicemails about how and when people can get a hold of you, and you move forward with the work that truly needs your attention. I can’t tell you how much my life has changed when I removed the time wasting bullshit from my world and focused on what I really wanted and needed to do.
This goes for working out, paying off debt, and prioritizing my life first, then everything else second. My priorities have never been a secret, so I focus on me first, then career, job, kids, etc.
When I put my time first, strangely, everything started to get better. The stupid, pointless meetings ceased. The box clogging emails stopped. The visits from uncertain employees diminished. And the important things rose up from under the pile of stupid shit to get my attention.
As people get older, especially men, they start to prioritize their time much more because they see the clock ticking on their lives. Is it mortality that is giving me this chance to pause?
In a way, yes. I know that I don’t have a lot of time on this Earth, so the best way to spend it would be to do what I want to do. And even if I have priorities in my life, my ability to deal with those priorities gets better when I diminish the amount of wasted time that I have in my life.
Nobody wants to die regretting what they didn’t do. So what better time than now, when all of this shit is hitting, to reinforce my boundaries and make them walls.
In order to do any of this, you have to know what’s important in your life and prioritize that.
Start with a notebook, and go through your day.
What are you doing that someone else could be?
What are you doing that is not advancing your life goals?
What are you wasting valuable time on that you could be doing something productive?
These are questions that can be answered with a two week micromanage of your life.
I went around, was mindful of what I was doing, wrote it down, and changed the parts that were taking away from my goals.
And you can’t just half ass it, you have to whole ass it. You have to make a move to cutting the clutter from your life both physically and with time.
Clutter happens in many different forms, your job is to identify and get the fuck rid of it.
I check emails twice a day.
I’m able to be reached (by emergency only) on my cell phone. If it isn’t an emergency, I call it out and ask if I need to be contacted for something that can be solved without me.
You can’t be a dick, but you can be assertive in protecting your time.
I now put my projects and company issues first and handle them. And with that daily audit, I can identify, ahead of time, what issues will come up and if they need to be dealt with by me or by others.
My personal life includes helping my kids and putting their interests and difficulties higher than I had.
Dating comes after I’ve established all of my time and have organized it.
The more time you take to audit the time you spend, the more you realize that you have more time that you would ever realize.
The excess time that I have is now spent writing, focusing on my life goals, and handling and preparing my business for the fun times ahead.
Leading is best done by someone who has great time management skills.
But you have to start now. You have to micromanage your life.
Grab a pen and pad. Start to analyze what things are wasting your time.
Time is more valuable than money because a good use of time can actually make and save you more money.
But you have to make it happen. Start prioritizing your time. Take it for yourself and watch all the issues you thought would happen when you did it fall to the wayside because people understand you don’t hang out for bullshit pointlessness.
It’s time to a take your life back, minutes to hours at a time.
Turn off the TV, get to the gym, work on your side hustle, work for yourself.
Enriching your life is the best thing you can do with the time you save.
Get to work.