I like to say yes to opportunities. When something’s offered to me, I want to say “yes”. I want to take it. So I do. I do that until I’m over-scheduled and over-tired and starting to hate everything I’m doing, and then that’s when I finally stop.
How do I learn to stop just ONE thing before that? A life of balance requires that I say no just one offer earlier, so that I still have time to see my friends, enjoy my life at home, exercise, write, and relax.
This is a real question. I’ve identified this problem before, but I’ve never been able to do it. I’m writing this now, but I’m still thinking about how to find other opportunities that are out there and how I can take advantage of them. If I do, I’ll be miserable! So why do I seek it out?
I know that a big reason is money. I feel opportunity costs in a very real way — when I don’t take a $1,000 job, I feel very clearly that I spent $1,000 on that free time, and I usually decide it’s not worth it. But at some point, I have to change that mindset. My skills are worth more than they used to be, so now every hour of opportunity I turn down “costs” about $100. And that number’s going to keep going up. So at some point I’ll have to accept that that’s what free time costs me now, and become more willing to pay that price. I’m just not there yet — I don’t value my free time that much. That means my employers value my time more than I do, and that’s not setting me up for success.
I guess the solution is to start turning things down, even though it feels bad initially, and then do something I really enjoy or value with the time I saved. I’m not sure if that will work, though. And I’m not even sure that I want to do it.
In real numbers, I have the opportunity to earn about $12,000 this month. I want and need to work on my business for about 40 hours/week, but that doesn’t pay me right now. So to accomplish that goal, I’d have to work about 80 or 90 hours per week, not including commuting time or time spent looking at the work (but not doing it). If I were to sleep 8 hours/night, that would leave me about 22 hours/week to eat, relax, shower, commute, shop, care for my house, see my friends and family, and everything else. When you consider that I usually sleep 10 hours a night (I know!), that would leave me with only 8 hours a week to do all those things. That’s insane!
What’s more insane is that I’m considering it. It’s just one month. And $12,000 in one month is insane. That’s more than I spend all year.
The problem is that it won’t be just one month. I’ll do it again, and again, and then I’ll be burnt out, tired, angry, and sick of everything. And then what will the point be? I’m currently set to make about $7,000 this month. Isn’t that enough? I know that it’s enough. So I’m selling my happiness for $5,000. And I know that’s wrong.
But I still want to do it. What’s wrong with me? How do I think about this differently?
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