Some habits are just hard to break, and I have one that I find myself repeating every few months or so.
I stay up late.
I don’t mean until two in the morning, I mean I’m winding down around seven in the morning and then I sleep for a few hours and start my day again between 10 and 11 a.m. I do this for two main reasons:
- I feel like I’m stealing extra time in the day to accomplish things
- I’m stealing uninterrupted time
A big challenge with freelance is you do everything yourself. Everything. There’s no one to answer your phone for you, no one to prepare proposals or invoices, no one to meet with clients, no one to help with production work, and no one to bounce ideas off of.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a hands-on kinda guy so I love doing everything, but some days there’s just not enough time to do it all. So what I end up doing is mostly administrative stuff during the day, and then I spend some time with my wife in the evening, then at night I throw on a pot of coffee and plant myself in my chair and work on the design and production stuff that I love.
But I can only handle this for so long. I’ve been in this routine for about a month now and I’m going to have to break out of it this week. My energy and cohesive thought process have both diminished a bit. But over the years of doing this, I’ve learned something:
Time, not love or money or anything else, is humankind’s most precious commodity and everything we do costs us time.
I say this because really, all we can do is spend it. You can’t earn it, you can’t save it, and you can’t reclaim it. We’ve devised all kinds of ways to try to manage it, be frugal with it, and even delude ourselves into thinking we’re saving it. We also devise a way to measure its passing by tracking the sun and the moon and keeping watches and calendars. And so it passes us by at a constant rate and there’s nothing much we can do about it except stay up late at night and try to get more done in a given day.