Quit Wasting Your Free Time - Smart Money Seed


Quit Wasting Your Free Time

Any fellow procrastinator can relate - taking action on goals can be tough!

Some days getting your ass off of the couch and doing something can be much harder than it sounds. Binging on Netflix shows, winning Super Bowls in Madden, and watching endless YouTube videos takes priority and that to-do list takes a back seat. It happens to all of us, and sometimes that's okay. We all need escapes to refresh and recharge, and a lazy day can be the perfect solution. But too much of anything can be a bad thing, and unfortunately that includes lazy days.

Your free time (i.e. time spent away from work or school) is a valuable commodity. Out of the 168 hours in a week, most people work 50+ hours, and sleep for another 50 hours (if you're lucky); that leaves only 68 hours of free time! This may sound like a lot of time, but for most people that means well over 50% of their time is spent working or sleeping. Despite what you may think, I'm not writing this to be discouraging, but when you do that math, I think it really shows how valuable your free time is! All of a sudden those couple of hours you spend watching TV really starts to eat into your free time.

A Personal Testimony

Quitting your lazy habits cold turkey is pretty tough. The good news is you don't need to quit the habits for good, you just need to cut back on the frequency. Before I started writing this blog with Alex, I probably averaged at least 10-15 hours a week playing video games. I still consider myself a pretty big video game advocate, but I knew there were better ways that I could have used some of that time.

For me, I knew I could be doing something more to learn and grow, both personally and professionally. The solution: Smart Money Seed! I've replaced a lot of my weekly video game time with Smart Money Seed, and I can't begin to tell you how much I've learned from it. Despite all the fame and glory that comes with blogging, I'm not suggesting that you need to start a finance blog. Maybe you have been putting off:
  • Remodeling part of your house
  • Saving for retirement
  • Working on your resume
  • Looking for a new job
  • Getting maintenance on your car
  • Starting a new hobby
  • Learning how to cook a new meal
  • Exercising
  • Stopping a bad habit
  • Cleaning out the garage
  • Doing something on your bucket list
Whatever the task may be, channeling your inner motivation is the next step that will help you achieve your goal.

So, how do I get motivated?

"Getting motivated" isn't always as easy as just flipping a switch. Letting Netflix autoplay to the next episode of Stranger Things is way easier than getting up and cleaning out the garage. It takes baby steps to increase your motivation, and the first step is energizing yourself. Here are some of my tips and strategies to get energized:
  • Get up! Easier said than done, but make an effort to literally get off your ass and move around. Try exercising, walking, or playing a sport.
  • Change your diet. I don't have the best diet in the world, but I've found I'm much more productive when I eat healthy meals.
  • Get off your phone. Spending too much time staring at your phone screen can make you feel like a zombie.
  • Go outside. There's something special about the outdoors that can re-focus and energize your train of thought. Get away from the day-to-day hustle and bustle and spend some time with nature.
  • Find an accountability partner. Everyone knows its a lot easier to skip leg day when you don't have a lifting partner. Find someone that shares a similar goal and hold each other accountable. Without Alex, I can pretty confidently say there's no way I'd be able to run a blog like this alone. (Please don't tell him I said that, I don't want him to think that I like him.)
At the core, getting motivated is about finding your "why". Why do you exist? Why do you get out of bed each morning? What is your purpose? I highly recommend watching Simon Sinek's TED Talk about starting with "why". Here's a link:

Rosie and I tried camping this summer and we fell in love with it. It was a great way to relax and refresh after a long week!

I used to be motivated, what happened?

Losing motivation is discouraging, and it's something almost all of us face. If you find yourself in this scenario, the most important thing to do is understand what has changed.

Do you have a new boss? Are you in a new environment? Did you lose focus or did it become too repetitive? Are there other issues (i.e. family or personal) that are causing distractions? Is there uncertainty or a lack of communication?

This stage takes reflection. Take a moment to dissect the situation and determine what drove your disengagement. Do you think you can re-capture your motivation, or is it simply time to move on?

We're All Connected - Share Your Motivation!

Humans thrive off of each other's moods and energy, and motivation is no exception. When you're excited and passionate about something, it causes a ripple effect of excitement that builds an unstoppable wave of momentum. When you approach tasks and challenges with dedication and energy, others will become more engaged, and their engagement will only motivate you even further. It's a compounding effect like this allows teams to accomplish goals far behind their wildest dreams.

So let's recap; how do I get motivated?

1. Identify what you want to accomplish or what you have been putting off
2. Evaluate your free time and make some sacrifices
3. Take some small steps to energize yourself and build your momentum
4. Tackle your task with passion and tenacity
5. Spread your motivation and excitement with others
You have the tools. Time is already ticking. What do you want to accomplish?

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