A friend sent me a link to an article in the New York Times Opinion Pages, titled ‘The Busy Trap’. I read it through, nodding sagely in agreement – I too, am one of the corporate grind evacuees. Pity those poor misguided souls.
But then as I went back to working on a rush job I’d just taken on, I realised that I had managed to fall into my own ‘busy trap’ without ever meaning to. I’ve been doing a fair bit of traveling lately, and to supplement my financial reserves without dipping into savings, I’ve been doing quite a bit of extra contracting. All of a sudden, I’m worrying every day about client changes and responding to tickets and I’ve only just worked out what has happened: I’m ‘busy’ again. This was not the plan! What I should be doing is focusing my energy on projects that will generate passive income, not working by the hour. I have those projects, in varying stages of operation and completeness – but what’s stopping me from fulfilling their potential is that I’m busy doing those hourly contracting jobs for the immediate cash.
I’m not the only one having trouble with keeping the big picture sharp. A friend was lamenting to me today that he’d like to change career direction in order to escape the corporate rat race, but between his current full time job and other engagements (and love of sleep), working on the skills he’d need seemed too much like hard work. It’s not all that different from my issue, really, and I’m guessing a lot of other people are in the same situation. While I’m not a fan of self-imposed work cutting into what would normally be downtime (and especially sleep!), sometimes you just have to sacrifice yourself in order to get the big rewards later.
So that’s what I’m going to do: stop being busy. Refocus. My goal: to generate enough passive income not just to get by (which I already have) but to sustain the kind of lifestyle that I’ll really enjoy. My plan of action: ensure time is spent each day working towards my goal, taking concrete steps, performing actual tasks that will move me closer to where I want to be.
Who’s with me?