Before I started freelancing, I worked at a bank designing learning experiences for the employees. It wasn’t a bad job, but my heart was never into it. I was always more interested in my side projects.
But that job taught me one of the most important things I have ever learned: time is precious.
It wasn’t because I learned all about time management and “how to get more hours in a day” or “how to get more shit done in less time.” It was because someone very dear to me passed away while I was on a work assignment outside the city.
As you may have guessed, it was a girl I was dating. It was sudden, and I won’t go into details here, but it was hard for me to understand how this happened. After all, that same week, we were planning on doing a lot of things together.
That made me understand that even though I am still young, my time is limited and I don’t know how much I have left. Death could come for me at any minute without notice.
And then I started realizing that I was exchanging time for money or other things. Wasting hours upon hours in a job I didn’t love. Just waiting for the time to go home and work on my projects.
One day, I resigned. I never looked back.
I took a different path, creating a freelance career for myself and learning how to work across the world, not just in my country. It was challenging, but my fear of death kept me moving forward.
It may sound weird. Fear of death as the fuel for all my projects. But it’s the truth.
I don’t want to die without creating the life I want. A life that is aligned with me and my values.
We always think of death as something distant until someone close to us passes away. That’s when life reminds us why it is so precious.
So I’m here to tell you something important today: One day, you will die too.
When is it going to happen? Nobody knows for sure, but the reality is that death will come for us all.
And I’m not saying this just to be a complete bummer. Oh no, quite the opposite. I’m saying this, so you start living and enjoying every little moment.
Now I always remind myself that my days on this beautiful planet are numbered. I do it so I stop procrastinating.
And you know what? It works.
Knowing you can’t get more time puts everything into perspective. Problems become challenges to overcome. Priorities become easy to set. Suddenly, working on your projects becomes a habit and you stop reading productivity blogs entirely.
Maybe this is too extreme or morbid, but remember that life is so precious because it ends.
Does this mean that binge watching Netflix is wrong? Not at all. You just need to be ok with the value you are getting from the time you are investing.
I binge watch Netflix and play video games, but only when it makes sense and brings joy to my life. I’m not going to waste time on a series I didn’t like or play a game I find boring.
Am I saying you should be a workaholic? I used to be one, and I can tell you that working 24/7 is not the best use of your time. Working while tired, frustrated or just in a bad mood will make you waste more time.
I value my work just as much as the time I spend with my family, resting or having fun. You should do that too. Because there is no such thing as a compartmentalized work life, family life, social life and so on. All of those aspects are small portions of your life, and you only get one (as far as we know).
Is it bad if you “insert here whatever activity makes you feel guilty”? Yes, if any action makes you feel guilty then you are wasting time. You should stop doing it or find a way to deal with it differently.
The best use of your time will never make you feel guilty. Quite the opposite, it will make you feel great and accomplished.
So the next time you want to let the day go by, just remember that you will never have that time back. It’s gone forever. You can always choose: waste time, or do something that brings value to your life.
Are you ready to take control of your life?