How do the most successful people spend their free time?
I have no idea, but I'm guessing it's probably not:
- googling what successful people do in their free time
- taking extended naps
- watching cat videos for 3 hours a day
- what I do in my free time
It's been a crazy month at casa-dee-hathaway. We doubled the number of dogs for a while, had anywhere from 2-7 grandkids running through the house and painting the walls, went on vacation (it's hard to be me) and have been renovating not 1 but 3 different rooms in the house.
And I still have to get out of bed and drive to the city every day!
(I've been doing everything except blogging!!!)
So last week when Cindy had the crazy idea of taking all the kids to the pool for a couple of hours, I took full advantage of the alone time.
I sat on the couch and watched a non-animated, non-educational, non-kid friendly TV show.
And it was everything I thought it could be!
When Cindy returned, the conversation went something like this:
Her: What did you do with all your alone time?
Me: Watched "Better Call Saul".
Her: Is that a new show?
Me: Pssshhh. I'm on like Season 3.
Her: When have you been watching that?
Me: While I was at the gym.
I haven't been to the gym in months!
So now here I am at work on my lunch hour (we'll just say that's what time it is, mkay?) and for once I'm not watching cat videos... I'm actually doing something productive with my time.
Hey. Blogging is being productive!
So I started thinking about "free" time and how we "spend" it...
And here is where all that thinking took me.
Time is the only real currency.
Time really is money.
I mean, think about it. We trade our time for anything that we have or do... for money or for things.
Yes, those things can be tangible items like cars or clothes or penguins, or services or experiences like road trips or sea world excursions.
But those things for which we trade our time can also be outcomes like painted walls or a cool website makeover (you did notice, right?) or puppies with silky smooth hair.
When we go to work, be it consulting, painting, writing or whatever wonderful thing you do for money, you are making an agreement that you will exchange X amount of your time, of your life, for Y amount of money.
When you work on a hobby or chore you are agreeing that you will trade X amount of your time for Z experience or outcome.
When you binge-watch the Bachelorette, you agree to trade X hours of your life to see pretty much the same plot-line in every season. Don't believe Chris Harrison when he says "never before seen"... we've seen it all before!
Money and experiences are just the units by which we measure what our time is worth.
You might say that you would rather work less, and maybe that means receiving less pay, and experience more.
That doesn't mean that your time is worth any less. It just means that you place a different exchange rate on your time.
Generally speaking, higher paying jobs are going to come with higher stress rates, longer commutes and/or longer work-weeks.
Your next breath is way more important than your next paycheck.
To those who have figured out the 4 hour work week and make $171k per month in Amway or internet marketing, kudos to you! You've made excellent use of your time!
I'm still working on it...
Everybody is just as time "rich" as everybody else.
Unless I missed out on a really cool infomercial, everybody gets the same amount. 60 seconds in a minute. 60 minutes in an hour. 24 hours a day. You get the picture.
Some people will end up with a larger total accumulation than others, but until the final payout, we each have the same amount.
Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey... they all get the same 24 hours in a day that you do.
So does the homeless guy looking through the trash cans for cigarette butts and leftover Starbucks.
You can never get more.
You can always earn more money, but you can never earn more time.
That's why it's so important to spend the time that we do have wisely.
With time being such a valuable commodity, why waste it being angry or worrying or regretting what you did or didn't do with it in the past?
It goes too quickly to spend it on things that don't make you happy.
“Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.”
― Marthe Troly-Curtin
So let's take the time that we do have and use it on things that make us smile. Let's write more. And read more. Let's watch TV and paint all the things. Let's build servers or birdhouses or whatever makes us happy.
Happy is the important part.
Money may not be able to buy happiness. or more time.
But if you spend it right, your time can buy happiness.