Owning my time so I can invest it where I see fit
I’m back in charge. If I want to spend 4 hours a day editing content, chasing leads, or talking to my entrepreneurial friends, I’m free to.
I’ve regained control over my time.
Sure, there’ll always be constraints. We all operate within some kind of boundaries. I still have bills to pay, and I still have mouths to feed.
But these constraints are great for creativity. They challenge you to come up with new ways of making things work, and this time around, you’re the only one in charge. Those precious units of time are entirely yours to spend.
Working on my own schedule
I’m able to structure my day as I wish to. I know I’m most productive in the morning, and I love taking walks in nature, so I break my days up based on my new routine. One I’ve designed for myself, not one that’s imposed by big corp.
If I want to relax for 10 minutes and watch a Youtube video, I just do it. If messing around for a bit is going to recharge my batteries and fuel my productivity, no one is going to slap my wrist for it.
My timetable is mine, not my boss’s or colleagues any longer. That’s incredibly freeing.
Feeling aligned with my purpose again
That was huge to me. One of the main reasons I quit was because I felt a big gap between the work I did all day and what I valued. Now, my days are spent on something worthwhile to me.
It’s up to each of us to define what that “something worthwhile” is, and maximize the time spent on that. The less time spent on your true calling(s), the more frustration and inner tension will arise.
Built-up over the years, that tension can drive you crazy and fill you with resentment. Enter the mid-life crisis.
My older sister of 45 told me to forget about my dreams of independence and purposeful living. In her view, purpose comes before or after the job. The job — the main bit in the middle — is only here to cover the bills. Period.
She advised me to “switch off” my brain every morning, to find joy and meaning in other areas of life, and hang those by the office door. That seems to be how most people spend their adult lives.
Instead, I chose to prioritize purpose and fulfillment over the dread of conforming to corporate life because that’s what people do.
Purpose beats conformity. Big time.
Excitement, discovery, and self-exploration
With the freedom to manage my own time and fill my days with purpose, I’ve welcomed 3 dear friends back into my life.
- The excitement of looking forward to the day ahead spent working on my mission
- The discovery of tools and resources to help me grow as a content creator
- The constant quest for self-understanding and living in alignment with personal goals
Those 3 ingredients were non-existent in the old world. They’re now my daily companions.
New connections and opportunities
As soon as I started putting myself out there, I made new contacts and more opportunities came my way.
When I told friends about my move from full-time employment to forging my own path, I got introduced to people on similar journeys. From there grew opportunities to support each other and contribute my skills to their ventures.
Creative juices flowing freely again
Corporate life was stifling. It kept me from getting in the right mindset to create. The job felt like a distraction at times and stopped me from getting in the flow.
Now, a constant supply of natural energy is coming to me throughout the day. I don’t need that caffeine hit to shake myself up and get through the day anymore. It’s like shackles coming off of my mind, giving it the time to express itself more freely.
Clarity and a newfound sense of direction
It might sound paradoxical, but the highly structured corporate world left me feeling lost in the pack, not in charge of my own path.
Once you find some clarity as to what your path is, the stressful feeling of being lost at sea vanishes into thin air. You’re no longer living someone else’s life; you’ve stepped into your own potential.
You can start building your dream from the ground up. That’s where true personal alignment comes from. Your life makes more sense this way.
Nurturing the skills I care about
I’m free to work on my craft, rather than becoming a fancy certified senior manager, which I couldn’t care less about.
I want to learn about content creation, SEO, and providing value to my audience. Not how to produce endless Powerpoint reports and pointless status updates.
I now focus on the skills I value, not on those that big corp wants me to have to be a useful resource in its service.
Being in the driver’s seat
The extra personal freedom means no one is watching over my shoulder. This comes with the ultimate personal accountability: no one else is responsible for my outcomes but me.
You need to take 100% accountability for your own outcomes when you escape the comforts of big corp.
That’s quite a change from being hooked onto a constant supply of cash from a company’s payroll system. You’re kind of on your own.
Not that you’re alone, but no one is going to look out and provide for you. You’re your own bread-winner, directly through your work.
It’s scary and exciting all at once.
Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable
When I left my employer, I had to welcome the uncertainty that comes with escaping the gloomy certainty of corporate life.
I had to get used to standing on shaky ground.
I had to embrace being uncomfortable, because the path I’m on is sometimes going to be volatile, often unclear, and will offer no guarantees of success. But what it will offer, I’m willing to pay for.