Every Minute Is Metered

How to Start & Run a Business While Working a Day Job

Would you like more time in your day?

Would you like to get everything done that you want to get done? In your life? For your business?

Whether you work a day job or not, Indiepreneurs think that they never have enough time. I bet you do, too, right?

What if I told you there’s plenty of time for what you really want?

Over the next series of posts, I’m going to try to help you with time.

I say TRY, because grabbing control of your time is damn hard. I say TRY, because I can’t force you to give my method a shot and I can’t guarantee that it’ll work for you if you do.

All I can do is teach you the steps that I took that radically changed my life.

The old way says to make goals, write them down, keep a to-do list and block out time for this and that. Blah, blah and yadda, yadda.

We know what happens to that old to-do list, right? You have great intentions when you make it, but before long the list gets a mile long and every time you look at that damn list your breathing gets shallow, you panic and with panic comes procrastination and avoidance. Scrubbing the toilet is less stressful than facing the dreaded to-do list. That. Damn. Never. Ending. Effing. To. Do. List!

Go ahead. You have my permission to rip your to-do list into tiny pieces. Slip it in the shredder right now. I’ll wait.


Do it!

You’re going to start over and you’re going to start over with a whole new mindset. That new mindset will change what you put on your list. And your list is going to get a whole lot shorter.

All the to-do lists and all the Get Things Done files in the world won’t help you unless you first change the way you value time.

There are axioms like:

  • time is the most precious thing on earth
  • you cannot stop the march of time
  • time is something you can never get back

You’ve heard some version of these, right? You probably even agree with them. Yet for some reason you can’t get control of your time.

Each year you realize that you’re no closer to your goals. Each year you wonder what the hell happened. Each year you’re disgusted with yourself because you got nothing of value done. You just wasted the last 12 months – again!

I was the same way. Until I got past the woo-woo philosophical words of all those time axioms. I needed a pragmatic slap upside the head. If you do, too, keep reading.

Step one in this method is to force your brain to really understand the value of every single minute.

Forget setting life goals, yearly goals or even monthly goals.

You’re going to value every single minute of your time.

This is kind of radical. And you might feel a little foolish, but here is what I want you to do for the next few weeks.

I want you to imagine paying a dollar for each and every minute of your life.

Picture a giant parking meter in your head. From the second you wake up in the morning until your head hits the pillow at night, it ticks down. You’ve got to feed your meter of time to keep it ticking.

No matter what you’re doing while the meter ticks, it’s costing you a buck.

  • Do you really want to feed the meter and argue politics on the internet for 20 minutes?
  • Was that TV show really worth $60?
  • How about the $160 you just spent at a big three-hour family get-together? Depends on what your family is like, right? LOL.

You are literally $pending your time.

I hope that this little exercise really helps you see time in a more pragmatic way. When you picture that giant parking meter ticking away the minutes in your head, the phrase “time is money” comes to life and you finally really get it.

It really makes you think twice about how you spend every precious minute of your life.

When I’m with a person, I picture giving them a $1 for every minute I spend with them. If the meter maid of life were holding out her hand, would I really whip out my wallet and spend the money on this person? If the answer is no, I stop spending time with them. (I’ll teach you gentle ways to say no in a future post.)

Would I really whip out my wallet and pay good money for the task I’m doing? If the answer is no, I immediately stop what I’m doing and never do it again.

No one rates the value of your time better than you. I can’t tell you who or what is worth the minutes ticking away on your parking meter. It’s your meter, not mine. What is worth your time is your call to make.

And that, right there, is what it all boils down to, right?

Your minutes are yours to spend.

Picture the giant parking meter.
Hear the cha-ching of a cash register.
See your dollars disappear into a vending machine slot.

Whatever imagery works for you, do it for the next few weeks.

Then report back. I want to know if this made you think twice before wasting a minute on something stupid.

Next time we’ll get into how to divide your valuable time between stuff you want to do and the stuff you have to do.

Beth Cunningham, Christina Pritchard Laska liked this post

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