What if you could bank time, like you bank money? If you could “save up” time? Set it aside for the future?
I spend most of my time writing about two things:
- Personal Development and Self Ownership.
- Lifestyle and the joy of experiences.
Today could fall into the Personal Development category but from a much different perspective than I usually write. I share as I learn. I try to give value based on what I’ve found to work. But today I’m going to share with you something I haven’t figured out yet. Something I know I need to improve about myself. This is a major shortcoming for me and has lead to all kinds of problems in my life, and yet I find myself returning to old habits again and again.
This week I came down with a nasty sinus infection. It took me out of work for two full days, and I’m barely up to writing this article. And when I stopped working…all progress stopped. My daily blogging last month has turned into 10 so far this month. That’s exactly half of my previous pace.
It’s easy to say it’s because I was distracted.
- I went on a 4-day motorcycle trip. Where I gave myself permission to not write.
- When I returned, I had a bunch of catching up to do on work.
- Then I got sick.
These things seem like good excuses. But excuses are lame.
The reason why I’ve published less this month isn’t due to distractions. It’s due to my not having a pipeline of content. I hadn’t saved for the future. If I’d have written two-weeks worth of articles in advance, I would’ve been able to keep my daily posts going, even in the midst of distractions.
And this get’s a little closer to the truth.
I’m a horrible saver.
I’m going to be real with you here. This is embarrassing for me to talk about.
I surround myself with people who are smarter than me, and all of my closest friends are far more financially secure than I am. This is not a coincidence. I think you should surround yourself with people who are where you want to be. But at the same time, it makes this article that much more difficult to put out for all to see.
Whether it’s saving money, or storing up articles to publish in the future, I think these are both symptoms of the same thing. I spend all I have, time and money, on right now.
Usually, optimism is associated with positive outcomes. And I certainly don’t want to lose my optimistic view of the future, but in this case, I think it works against me. I’m too easily tempted to spend my savings because I just assume I’ll be able to replace it in the future. When I do get ahead on my work, instead of keeping the pace that got me there, I tend to back off until that work buffer is eaten up and I find myself back under the daily deadline.
I know I’m not alone here. Most people have no savings. Many people procrastinate. But why be like most people?
I’ve never once in my life ever wanted to be like most people. I’ve always wanted to live an exceptional life. To make the most of it. To live all my life– so to speak.
Admitting a fault but not taking steps to remedy it is just as lame as making excuses. So here’s my plan:
1: Back to daily posting, but this time I’m going to write 1 and then some.
I’ve heard that Ernest Hemingway used to intentionally stop writing for the day while he was mid-sentence. He felt this made it easier to get back into the writing flow when he would finish the sentence the next day. While I don’t intend to stop mid-thought, I’m committing to writing at least an additional 250 words over and above any complete article, every day. The objective here is to start a work/time savings account. So my first day I’ll bank 250 words, the next day I’ll have 500 saved up. the next 750, and so on…
My goal is to continue this work habit until I have a pipeline of 15 fully edited and formatted articles that are ready to be published. Once I obtain this, I’ll re-assess this habit and decide where to go from there. If it seems sustainable, what I might do is keep that 2-week buffer, and devote the extra 250 words to one of my book projects. This way I keep the habit, make progress on my books, and when life throws me a curve-ball, I can keep my daily publishing schedule. If I eat up some of that buffer, I can easily shift the work from my books back to the blog until I’ve re-established my 15-article lead.
2: The money pit.
I’m not sure if it’s a societal thing or just my own hang-up, but admitting that I struggle financially is really embarrassing. Probably just my ego. In some areas of life, I have my shit together, but admitting this glaring weakness is tough.
On a more positive note, I’ve made some good financial decisions. I avoid debt like the plague. The only debt I have is on my motorcycle. I haven’t had a credit card in more than 16 years. So while I haven’t managed to get ahead, I’m not getting behind either. So it could be worse.
Next step- Downsizing.
In the next couple of months, I plan to sell off a majority of my possessions. I’ll be greatly reducing my housing expenses – maybe eliminating them altogether (a topic of an upcoming article). Living rent free should make saving money a lot easier. But I know that it’s more than just the numbers. It’s a mindset. It’s emotional. It’s about developing the right habits. So before I’m even able to reduce my expenses, I’ll need to take action on that habit.
So from here on, I’ll be investing a portion of any income I receive. It would be foolish for me to commit to a certain percentage right now because I’m working through too many unpredictable changes in my life. This isn’t about the numbers. It’s about the habit. One that I should have developed as a teen, but better late than never.
We often hear about diversifying our investments, but I think in our rapidly changing world, it’s just as wise to diversify one’s income. So I’m also taking active steps to accomplish this. I have the potential to be writing for 5 separate blogs in the near future. I have several book projects outlined. I have online training courses planned for fitness, art, and more. I have opportunities to learn from an experienced real estate investor. Spending at least a portion of every year in Mexico and traveling around the U.S. should provide additional opportunities as well. Of course, I’ll be writing about each of these in detail in future blog posts.
The plan is to have a minimum of 5 separate income sources. This suits my personality. I crave diversity. I love life most when things are new and interesting.
Now it’s out there.
I would hope that my readers would hold my feet to the fire. I’ll be updating my progress here, not just for my own accountability, but in hopes that my journey might help others. If you don’t see updates on these new habits, feel free to call me out. I’ll be adding to my assets, but also to my work/time savings accounts.
We all have our issues, right? The key to self-ownership is not just to know thyself, but also to act upon that knowledge.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go make a deposit.
Part of creating a time savings account is learning how to use tools that can help facilitate the habits. So I’ve signed up for Streemian – A Steemit blockchain interface that allows you to schedule a Steemit post for publication at a later date.
This post will be my first scheduled post, so it’s a bit of a test run for me to see how formatting and reliability work. I’ll let you know what my experience is like using it. Stay tuned!