We all want more time for the things we like to do. And the reality is that the more time you spend working, the less time you will spend doing what you’d rather be doing (which is probably almost anything but working). But creating more time for yourself isn’t an easy task. Life is demanding, and we have many responsibilities.
But that isn’t an excuse to settle for a lifestyle that doesn’t give you the freedom of time you’re looking for. After all, time is life. There is no separation of the two. If you are living and breathing, time is passing. If you are dead, no more time (as far as I can tell from the land of the living). Even more importantly, time is finite. At some point, your time is up, and you die (sorry).
Money can be re-acquired; houses can be rebuilt. New relationships can be cultivated, and old ones can be repaired.
Even health (being a close second to your time in terms of importance) can often be restored if lost. But time is a one-shot deal. The seconds you’ve got between now and when the bus hits you are fixed. You can’t avoid or escape the bus, so the most urgent question of your life is this:
How will you spend the time you have and what will you do with it?
I can’t actually answer that question for you, but I’m pretty sure that the ideal use of your time and life doesn’t involve working 40-60 hours per week. I know mine doesn’t.
How Much Time do We Actually Have?
Let’s say you live for 80 years. How much of that time do you get to do what you want to do, or what’s important to you, i.e., spend time with your family, build the boat, run, play poker, travel, etc…?
Well, first you lose the first 18 years of your life to being young, school, and just generally growing up. While those can be wonderful years of life, they aren’t that self-directed for most people. Then, let’s take off the last 10 years. By 70 years of age, many of the things you could have enjoyed are now impossible as a result of your age.
So, we’re down to 52 years. Eight hours a day will be lost to sleep, so that means we lose 17 more years. Now we’re down to 35 years.
Shit! We have to work! Ok, well that’s alright. Right? 40 to 60 hours a week (and let’s be honest, who actually works 40 hours a week in the U.S.) equates to somewhere around 8 to 15 years depending on how much you work. Then there’s eating, taking care of the kids, watching TV, driving, napping, exercising, studying, etc… We quickly go from 35 years to do whatever we want with down to, say… 15, 10, maybe even 5?
I hope this has been a bit surprising to you. I want you to understand that you probably have a decade (or less) of actual waking life to do – something. Put enough hours into video games and idle entertainment and that number shrinks (drastically).
I don’t know about you, but I’m not really willing to lose 8 to 15 years of my life working if I don’t have to. Don’t get me wrong, life requires a certain level of maintenance in order to stay healthy and enjoyable. You need food, sleep, safety, shelter and time for relaxation. And in a monetized society, those needs are largely met by earning cash.
But how much cash do we actually need? And what price in time should we have to pay in order to earn it? In order to live?
I would argue that, in today’s World, it is no longer necessary to work for half (or more) of your productive time.
So why do we accept that so much of our time and energy goes towards earning money? If money is meant to help us maintain our lives, shouldn’t the acquisition of it serve us, not imprison us? I don’t think it’s unrealistic to expect to spend only 5-20% of your time “working”, in the conventional sense of the word.
And you know what? There are people doing it.
How to Party More
I’m using “party” in a very general sense. I just thought the title was funny.
So, when I say “party”, I simply mean doing whatever it is that you want to do.
Everyone thinks they’ve got to start some multi-million dollar business in order to relax on a beach somewhere or travel. That simply isn’t true.
If you save up a few thousand dollars you could easily travel for a year, maybe more.
By living in my truck, I drastically reduced the amount of money that was necessary to keep me alive, fed, and happy. And to be honest with you, my social life didn’t change much during that period. I still went out, saw movies, had drinks, and just generally had fun.
So, if you want to work less and party more, you have two basic options:
1. Save up some money, quit your job and start doing something fun. When the money is gone, go back to work (probably somewhere else).
2. Reduce your overhead and cut back on all the stuff that requires you to earn a huge salary.
Sell the boat, the Iphone, and the $30,000 car. Take your life back.
If you’re single, you can easily live on $1,000 – $1500 a month. I’ve done it. Everett Bouge has done it. You can do it too.
And you know what you’ll get as a reward? Time. Time to do what you want.
I can’t imagine a better deal than that.