We all know the holidays can be pretty exhausting. But for many, that’s not the end of it–not by a long shot. But tiredness during the day is part of the normal grind for many people. There are many reasons this can happen, such as:
- not enough sleep (OK, this one is pretty obvious)
- poor sleeping habits–watching TV or participating in mentally stimulating activity right before bed
- lack of physical exercise
- poor diet–not enough nutrients, or too many harmful ones
- stress–standard garden variety, or resulting from major life change
- lack of joy in life
There are probably other reasons. But what really hits home for me is that I have way too much to do than I ever have the time for. And I know I’m not the only one who’s ever had this “revelation”. The question is, what can be done? How can we find the time to handle everything in our lives without depriving ourselves of sleep? Drinking all that coffee? Sacrificing quality time with our families? Giving up the activities that bring us joy and pleasure, such as relaxing with a good book, taking a steamy bath, or teaching ourselves to use a new computer program?
For myself, I knew I had to find a way if I was going to gain any kind of satisfaction from my life beyond getting the bills paid every month.
This is where the concept of not trading the hours of your life in exchange for money comes in. For any job at which you are paid a salary or by the hour, you are trading your time for money. The answer is to develop alternate streams of income that can eventually free you from your “job”. As for myself, I wrote a novel. I also taught myself design layout and photo design packages, then started working as a freelancer–all while working 40+ hours per week. Now, I have this blog–and I’ve got more plans in the works.
Working 40+ hours a week in addition to having a real life will inevitably lead to exhaustion.To get a real life–and the energy to enjoy it at the same time–consider developing your own business. There are numerous ways to accomplish this. Some people focus on a skill they have, such as making clothing or some other product, creating unique food items, developing software, desktop publishing, childcare, treasure hunting, website design, photography–the possibilities are as wide as what you see out in the general marketplace. Wider, actually.
Changing from working for The Man to being in charge of your own work schedule isn’t going to happen overnight. Anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is trying to sell you something. But you can–and should–start today, even if it’s only in some small way. Here are a few steps that can help you along your way:
1. Sit down and brainstorm for ideas on how what you’d like to do. At this stage, make sure you don’t self-edit your ideas. Just write down everything that comes into your mind and leave the editing for later.
2. Go through your ideas and decide which you want to work on first. ( Don’t get rid of your list, though–you may want to revisit it later.) Consider if you already possess certain special skills that may translate well into bringing one of your ideas to fruition. Also keep in mind which of your ideas is easiest to implement, based on the budget (if any) you are willing to devote to it.
3. Break the implementation of your idea into short, middle, and long-range goals for yourself. This doesn’t have to be anything elaborate–it’s just a tool. Keep this in mind: short range goals should always move you closer to accomplishing your middle-range goals, and middle-range goals should always move you toward accomplishing your long-range goals.
4. Develop a schedule that enables you to make progress on your goals every day.
Starting something new is always the hardest part. After that, it gets easier because what was new is now officially a part of your life. And if you ever need a mental pick-me-up to help keep things moving forward, always remember the pot of goal at the end of the rainbow. You’re designing a new future for yourself–and for your family–so you can prioritize what’s most important to you.