In light of Independence Day, I wanted to share a note on freedom. More specifically, the freedom to choose your time, because let’s be honest, do you feel in control of the 24 hours you have each day? Maybe a couple of hours here and there, but you want to feel the freeing effects of having a choice all the time, right?!
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Freedom of Choice
Meik Wiking, the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, shines a light (firework ;)) on the idea of having freedom of choice. He asks “‘Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with your freedom to choose what you do with your life?'” He states the freedom to be, choose, express, marry, and so on is one of six factors that lead most people to be happier than others.
Now think about it.
- Are you satisfied with being able to choose what you do with your life?
- Do you feel in control of your time?
It starts off easy and then you have to think a little…I am satisfied with the freedom of choice, but I don’t always feel in control of my time.
I had gotten a new job. Woo! One that paid the bills, aligned with my degree, and had a greater purpose. So this, my other job, and my blog should have been a celebration! Except it didn’t feel that way. Money is useful, but the more I worked, the less time I made for my mental health and eventually this blog which is important to me and my readers!
I’ll be honest, I felt like I had forgotten everything I was preaching on my site. I stopped meditating because I felt I didn’t have 5 minutes to spare or I was too tired to try. I shortened my morning self-care routine because I had to put in more hours for my new job. I even started sipping unsustainable coffee because it was convenient…so what was I doing?
I was letting stress take over. I allowed other things to run my time and felt pressure to complete projects by a specific time of day which added fuel to the fire. So while life can be a grind, I had to remind myself I’m able to create my own schedule.
That thought alone is powerful! I choose my own schedule.
Yes, maybe you work 9-5, but what will you do with 5 am-9 am or 5 pm-10 pm? And how do you want to be while you’re at work? Because you get to choose that, too.
In my full-time, I was using mornings for my morning routine and workouts, picking at my side hustles during lunch breaks, and dedicating an hour or two in the evenings to the blog. This made me happy because I was being a productive, engaged person (choosing how I want to be) while utilizing my free time how I wanted (in control of my schedule). It will look different for everyone and maybe you want to veg after a long day – do what makes you feel in control.
Ways to Free Up Your Time
Here are a few ways to free up your time to make room for the fun activities, according to The Little Book of Lykke:
- Cook more than you need (leftovers!).
- Two in one – instead of choosing social vs. physical, try running with a buddy.
- Stay clear of time stealers like social media scrolling.
- Schedule when you have to start a task and when you have to finish it.
Top reads that will help you succeed at time management and ultimately have you believe your life is now up to your decisions.
Make Time by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky
The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay Stanier
Whatever It Takes by Brandon Bornancin
No one has it all put together and it isn’t always easy. Even if you can’t adhere to it at the moment, remember you have the freedom to choose your time. And in that time, let’s choose how we speak to others, how we act in kindness without judgment, respect that others have different opinions, and allow ourselves to be our best selves. One step at a time creates an impact.