So often I hear adults say their life is like a rat race; they feel like all they are doing is running here and there, going through the motions, and not really getting much joy out of their everyday lives. This sounds like it’s almost become the default. People expect that they are supposed to live their life this way; scheduled to the max and never having much time to breathe and enjoy life. I know I’m only 23 years old and some may think I’m naive, but I don’t want to live this way. It’s one of my biggest goals at the moment. I want to find ways to actually feel like I’m living my life instead of just doing what everybody expects me to.
At first when I looked more deeply into this idea, I was fairly convinced that they only way I could achieve the life I wanted was if I was self-employed and could completely create my own schedule. I didn’t realize that there are a lot of little changes you can make that make a big difference towards not feeling so busy and frantic, even if you work a 9-5. These things may seem small, but they have added up quickly and have really been helping me to create a life that I’m actually enjoying, instead of feeling like all I’m doing is work, eat dinner, sleep, repeat.
- Waking Up Earlier – I am NOT a typical morning person. I can wake up and get things done, but I do not enjoy interacting with people much before 10am. With that said, I have discovered lately that I do enjoy going to bed and waking up earlier because I like having that extra time in the morning to either get things done, or to spend time on a hobby that I might be too tired to do after work. For example, I have been shifting my weekday sleeping schedule from 10:30pm – 6:30am, to about 9:30pm – 6:00am. I’m getting an extra half an hour of sleep, as well as having an extra half an hour in the morning that I can spend as I wish. I usually use it as either time to get chores done that I won’t want to do after work, or for things I enjoy doing like writing, reading, knitting, or music.
- Minimalism – I have been on a minimalism journey for a couple years now, and it is one of the best things I’ve ever done. My apartment is filled only with things I need and love. My lack of clutter helps me get rid of mental clutter, as well as not having to spend as much time cleaning and organizing all of the things I own. It makes my cleaning routine much shorter than it used to be, which frees up some of my time.
- Defeating Procrastination – Okay, I’ll admit, this one is still quite a work in progress. I tend to put things off, even little things, until it all builds up and then stresses me out big time. One way I’m working on beating this is to first create a list of all of the annoying little things that I know I need to do. Once that is done, I set a timer for about 10 minutes, and and try to tackle as many of them as I can in that short time span. I often find that once the timer goes off and I’m already on a roll, I just want to finish those tasks so I don’t have to worry about them later. Setting a short timer gives me that kick in the butt I need to start going; it’s a short enough time to motivate me to start something, and I usually end up continuing once it’s done.
I know these things are small, but at this stage in my life, they are really adding up big time. These 3 little things have given me back at least an hour a day, and have made me more aware of other little habits I can adopt to gain back even more of my time. Life doesn’t have to be a rat race; you don’t have to schedule so much into your days, you don’t have to work as many hours as you think. Gain back some of your time, simplify your life so you don’t need as much, and then cut back those work hours and enjoy more of your life. This is a journey I am on myself, and I’m excited to share it because I’m hoping more people can adopt this lifestyle. It has proven worthwhile so far, even though I’m so new to it. Life doesn’t have to be a certain set thing that feels predetermined for you. You get to create it.