Have you ever had a friend say, “I have to go to work tomorrow” on Sunday night and thought, “Not me!” because you’ve planned to take the day off? Then you already know the happy little jig your business-owning-heart does when your time is your own.
Being time-wealthy (YUP that’s a crappy term but you the idea) means you feel your time is your own.
You can think straight, you can work out, you can watch TV, you can whatever you damn well please with your time. The more frequently you can do that, the more time-wealthy you are — and the more likely your friends are to be a little jealous.
Time and energy are what make the enjoyment of actual dollars possible, as any entrepreneur who’s had just a tad of extra money but no time to enjoy it knows well.
Here’s how to get yourself more time for what you love — and that includes downtime in which you do absolutely nothing, the magical yet unattainable unicorn of time usage for most of humanity.
First, forget that Candy Crush exists. That game is a hungry little asshat that will eat your day for breakfast. Seriously, though — you know you gotta start scheduling your time. Not your days, if you’re not ready for that — but at least your breaks. That’s right, your breaks.
Schedule your vacations, trips, conferences, and camps FIRST, months upon months in advance.
This is counter-intuitive, since you’re more likely to schedule tomorrow than six months from now when you open your calendar. But the more you can get in the habit of scheduling vacations, annual trips, birthday parties, weekend retreats, and breaks from work, the more likely they are to actually happen.
Tally up the amount of vacation time you’re enjoying this calendar year, then double it for next year and start crossing off dates.
There’s no harm in blocking off a chunk of time for camping or hiking or a spa weekend in May right now. Months before it happens, just make space for it. Decide you’re not going to clutter that time with other stuff. Period. Same goes for that road trip you’ve been talking about, or your second visit to Harry Potter World, or whatever it is you’d love to experience on this big wide planet. My peeps are travelers, so don’t ask as if you don’t long to take time for exploring.
This is how to do it: plan it out. You don’t have to book it right now — you just have to make enough time for the booking to happen in the coming months.
You also have to give yourself permission to believe it’s possible.
Easy for you to say Kristen, you don’t…wait wait wait, right there. I’ve made enough space in my schedule and my business to spend nine weeks in Kenya, so don’t be coming at me like that! It’s not easy to make that kind of time, but it is worthwhile. Since you’re more likely to be blocking off 3 to 10 days at a time, refuse to make excuses. Things will come up. Something urgent will step in and you’ll consider caving to practicality. Please, don’t.
Making time to grow, to explore, and to enjoy life is the very point of living in the first place.
Just grab your pen and make some big X’s in your calendar. Transfer ’em to your calendar app of choice, and you’re a whole lot time-richer than you were when we started.
People FREAK on me when I tell them this, saying it’s not this easy! There are bills to pay, jobs to manage, a business or two to run, and children to care for! How DARE I!?!?!? (Note extra-mad usage of !!! and ???? combined in !?!?!)
Allow me to suggest that you didn’t become an entrepreneur because you wanted to work 50 or 60 or 80 hours a week, every week, for the rest of your life in your business.
You wanted to get good enough at being in business that you could experience a wealth of time as well as achieving some form of financial freedom. There are a billion excuses to avoid taking this calendar-clearing step, but I encourage you to mark up your calendar anyway.
You don’t have to have pet care or health care or childcare or passports or rent or airfare sorted out when you put the word “GREECE” on the calendar extra large with a smiley face — you just have to make the space for it to happen during that chunk of time. You can do this.
P.S. Making space isn’t limited to vacation time!
Photo // my own, from antics captured with Flying Kites in Njabini, Kenya