What a horrible situation, and what can be done? I heard this complaint last night while chatting on twitter about the 5x gig, sorry for not pumping out a post immediately with an affiliate link in it at the time, but I don’t like to do that. But what can be done when you’ve got all these points and just no time to travel? You’re going to have to make a big decision, it’s called, learning to let go.
What does that mean?
Basically, you’re trapped in your own quagmire of nonsense. You’ve built up things that you seem are critically important, but really aren’t, and your inability to cast them away is the roadblock in your life. It’s time to flip your sh!t.
There are two major approaches to letting go:
- Outsource it
- Drop it
Outsourcing is the one where you want to let something go, but can’t bring yourself to do it. I like to look at outsourcing things as part of the decision to drop it or keep it. If I can’t pay someone to take it over for me and still profit, then how much is this thing really worth? Probably a lot less than it seemed at the time.
Dropping something altogether isn’t easy. The most catastrophic ‘drop’ would be something like quitting your corporate job to cycle around the world, or something less glamorous, like getting a divorce. But habits are often harder to spot, and therefore drop, than a cheating spouse, or a job that sucks your lifeforce.
I’m too busy to travel!
Who are you, Elon Musk? He runs Tesla and SpaceX at the same time, or Jack, who is back at the helm of Twitter and leading Square through an IPO. How is it that these guys are able to CEO two companies, but you don’t have time to travel or whatever it is you don’t have time for?
They have VC money and teams!
I get it, they are able to hire great teams (that’s outsourcing BTW) and have deep pockets. But why don’t you? One chap on twitter said (IIRC) he has 2.7M pts but no time. Is it time to make a redemption? Maybe not a travel redemption, but an outsourcing one. If you really have no time it is because you are putting too much burden on yourself. If you have 2.7M points (or whatever number it is) then you do have the ability to use them to take the burden off yourself.
For a travel example, if you want to book an award, why not pay a booking service? Chances are that some part of your brain refuses to pay the service because you simply cannot let go. So you never find time to book because you are too busy, and you end up with a points balance that creeps up into the millions. Of course, you can still earn, because earning is profit right? Perhaps not if you never actually cash them in to enjoy the effort.
What’s the biggest time suck?
There’s actually tools out there now that will track your time, something like a fitbit for productivity. I’ve yet to pick one, so let me know if you have any recommendations, but here are a couple:
Note that they both have a free (lite) version and a paid version for about $5-9 per month. I’d be willing to bet that most people who are MSing and earning several thousand in extra income per month would still focus on the free version because they are cheap, and lose sight of the bigger picture. That decision means that rather than fully outsource this time watching role to a product, you’re retaining the workload in exchange for keeping the monthly fee. It’s a habit you need to learn to recognize, and eventually break.
It doesn’t have to be directly correlated
This is my biggest issue with ‘gigs’ I just don’t know what the hell a gig is, why a job isn’t a gig, but redbird was, why knowing how to liquidate VGC is a gig, but knowing how to rollover a Roth isn’t… for me it comes down to this:
24hrs in a day. This time is then allocated to things like, sleeping, eating, transiting, nurturing relationships, earning money, self learning, etc..
If you think that it’s all one giant melting pot, you can cross the streams – you can use your Fido Amex points to fund a Roth, or you can use your ultimate rewards at 1x to pay for a virtual assistant. If it makes sense, and runs at a profit, do it, outsource yourself, become zero, and find time to enjoy yourself. You’ll only be able to do that by taking a leap of faith, and getting out of your own head.
Christine L. says
Definitely many cognitive biases to overcome- I try to be aware and logical, but it’s so easy to be shortsighted! It’s like when it’s clearly worth it to have someone work on a website that will further your career/income but instead trying to do it yourself when you have no skills or interest in learning how. You waste a ton of time and opportunity on something that is in your best interest to get going now, not later. We think very little of paying someone for food prep (outsourcing to restaurants, fast food, coffee places) but won’t put that money into buying help/someone’s skills that will improve our quality of life or give us an edge professionally. I do the same thing. It’s hard for me to concentrate my efforts on the things that give me the highest payback sometimes; not everything is equally worth my efforts, but I forget that.
A dollar isn’t the same thing in every situation. It really IS worth more depending on how it’s spent.
Definitely something I need to work on. Thanks for a great post!