When To Break Away from the Undisciplined Pursuit of More
As wonderful as our wedding was, it feels like I am getting back in the swing of things, two months later. I’ve got no less than ten unfinished or ongoing projects in various states. I don’t care how much of a ninja/badass/hustler/insert other trendy workaholic term you are, there is no way to devote quality time and attention to ten different directions.
Maybe even five is too many. That’s being pulled in too many directions to give anything a fair shake. That’s not to mention the full-time and demanding job I have and the hour (minimum) I need to exercise each day. I guess this was the perfect time to run into the book Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown.
I want to do way too much. I’m trying to write for too many different outlets when I should simply be practicing my craft, either online or offline, audience or no audience. I’m trying to help every single person who comes my way with a business idea when I should be doing that only for a select few, and only when I have a stake in the business or I am getting paid well for it. I can’t afford to waste time.
We only have so many years, and the simple truth is that once you have a family, your time to focus on these pursuits will be even less, so now is the time to lay the groundwork and do the heavy lifting. If you don’t do it now, if you don’t pursue what matters most right now, you will find yourself five years down the road, still working for the same low wages and fees. You need to focus now to develop your best skills to command the highest possible rates.
You do have a number of different options when improving your skills and escaping your current situation. Obviously, going back to school and completing a university degree is an option, but this strategy is expensive and very time consuming. On that same note, however, you could enroll in an online degree program, which would provide you with all of the benefits of going back to school at a fraction of the cost. Earning a new degree online allows you to save on commuting and relocation costs, while ensuring that you do not have to quit your job as you upgrade your education.
Are you being pulled in many different directions, trying to develop and work on tons of things at once, and not really getting anywhere with any of them? I recommend reading Essentialism. This is a book that will be a quick read, but you’ll want to go back and reread the book at least two more times to analyze what’s being said and how you can apply it in your own life.
For me, it’s always been about surrounding myself with way too many small-time projects. It’s time to cut out even the ones that make money.
Let’s be honest, is a freelance writing gig that takes up two hours of your time really worth the extra $30-$50? I used to think it was, but that was when I was up to my eyeballs in debt and my day job income was a pittance. I’ve since improved my lot, but not my outlook. I’ll still accept most jobs when someone needs help and they want to throw some cash my way. But I don’t want more anymore. I don’t need to buy new clothes, I’m not itching to get away, show off in a new car, or even go out to the newest restaurant (although I’m a sucker for Michelin stars).
I’m seeking a simple, rewarding life. The discipline pursuit of less isn’t just about stuff. It’s about guarding your time like a squirrel jealously guards its acorns in the middle of winter.
There are only a few things I seek in my finances and career going forward: establishing the experience to become a C-level executive, owning a profitable business, becoming a writer that can fully develop a story in both fiction and non-fiction, and earning enough income to save and invest the majority of the income earned. The time I spend on everything else professionally is extraneous to those key goals. And those are already several big goals. So what am I doing spending the majority of my time elsewhere? I think it’s time to make some bold moves.
Are you working on cutting down on the tasks that take up too much time and provide little reward?