Why it’s ok to be stingy with your time

Time is our most precious resource yet, we give it away so easily.

We feel like it costs us nothing to give away our time because you don’t see your bank balance depleted.

If someone asked you for $1000, would you simply hand it over? … Probably not.

But, if someone asked you for an our of your time, you probably wouldn’t think along the same lines. When someone comes up to you for a quick discussion, you stop your work and dive into it.

I’m not saying that you should never help anyone but, you it’s important to know and value your time enough that you don’t give it away that easily. Your time is limited and you should focus on activities that add value to your life and further your goals.

Sometimes you may feel you are making an investment when you spend time developing a contact. While this may be true, you need to be careful and choose wisely or you could spend hours working without anything to show for it.

If a contact keeps asking you for meetings, only to keep discussing your ideas. This is not good news. If you haven’t sent them a contract after two meetings or, at least discussed a payment plan, these people are bad news.

Walk away. Walk away now.

Remember that there are people out there who will keep on trying to take advantage of you particularly when you’re new to the freelancing world. They will keep finding ways to make you work without paying you a dime, all the time feeling that something big is around the corner.

There’s no such thing as flexible timing

Just because you don’t work in a corporate office doesn’t mean that your time is flexible. We feel obliged to agree to other people’s schedules because let’s face it, we don’t think we are corporate enough to fit other people in to our schedule.

You also need to understand that just as one would do in a corporate setting, you have to put aside time to complete tasks. You wouldn’t be jumping up and driving across town for every meeting that you’re called to if you worked in an office.

We don’t clock in or clock out so we feel like we can spend the day however we want. We accommodate other people’s requests and what tends to happen is that we end up working longer hours, late into the night. You probably end up doing much more than you would be doing in a corporate office simply because you feel that you need to be flexible.

There’s nothing wrong with setting some boundaries

We don’t set boundaries. In this age of laptops and mobile phones, we have become too accessible. We have learned to work from anywhere to the point that we take pride in being able to work on the go.

We want to seem available and switched on. We have a fear of missing out, so we’re constantly tuned into our emails and messages. It’s become a competition as to who can respond to faster to emails, even at all odd hours.

I know you want to put in the hard work, and I know you want to seem committed, but there’s no shame in taking downtime.

I never took time off during my corporate life working 16 hours a day until one day I decided I had had enough and just quit that life altogether. I now know better than to let that happen to me as a freelancer.

You must value yourself as a person and value your time even more. It’s important to remember why you decided to become a freelancer. You do it to enjoy your work on your own schedule, pursue various interests and most importantly make time for yourself and your family.

The only way to achieve this is to be stingy with your time and choose to allocate it wisely.

Originally published at https://www.ayeshatariq.com on November 5, 2019.

Mother, consultant, banker | Love writing, coffee, reading and rain... not necessarily in that order | Always on the Self-Improvement Bandwagon

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