Growing Online Income

Are You Wasting Your Time?

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I’ve been rereading The 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris, a book I read a few years ago.

This book changed my life.

I credit my ability to be location independent and earn over $20,000 online in a month to the fact I read this book many years ago.

I’m participating in an international book club with Will from First Quarter Finance.

If you haven’t read this book before and are interested in living your dream lifestyle, I suggest you start now. Or yesterday, if possible.

There’s a part of the book where Tim meets someone at a party that wants to dramatically increase his income. Tim suggests that this person start asking himself “Am I being productive or just active” three times a day. To ensure he has to be accountable with his actions.

A few people have asked me how long I spend each week working. There’s two answers to that question:

1) I spend maybe 8-10 hours a day at the computer “working”
2) I spend maybe 2 hours a day doing work that contributes directly to my income or productivity.

What the hell do I do with the other 6-8 hours per day? I am basically a self serving version of Stumble-Upon, digesting mostly useless information online, including Facebook scrolling, reading news outlets and browsing random blogs.

You might expect that I would fill my free time densely with hobbies and socialising? Nope. I busy myself with random tasks because I feel that if I’m busier, I’ll make more money and I’ll be closer to my financial goals. I’m starting to realise how incredibly wrong that is.

I’m just wasting my time. I wonder: Are you wasting your time?

The 4 Hour Work Week has some suggestions of how to stop wasting your time, one of them is creating a To-Do list and a Not-To list. Here are my two for the following week:

My To-Do List for the next week includes:

Monitoring my emails and negotiating deals with clients Writing 1-2 posts each for this site and my travel blog Training my new virtual assistant to handle my emails Finish working on a project website Organising my writers and VA to do appropriate tasks Hiring a new research assistant for general research tasks that I find myself doing Networking with other personal finance and travel blogs

My Not-To-Do list for the next week includes:

Aimlessly clicking around Facebook Reading blogs just for “research purposes” Obsessively checking my work emails and staying up late to do so Browsing news sites to find something interesting to read Spending too long chatting on Facebook chat Checking emails BEFORE anything else in the morning When there’s not a lot of work to be done, instead of busying myself with minor tasks that will contribute very little to my overall income or productivity I’m going to go for a walk, go to the gym, start sorting out what I’m going to do with bits and pieces in our apartment when we leave and focus on educating myself through interesting books. We have created a society where it’s believed that working 9-5 or even 9-9 is better. It’s better for business. It’s better for sales. It’s better for your wallet. I don’t believe that’s accurate. I don’t think there’s any point in being busy for the sake of busy, especially when you work for yourself. This next week I’m aiming to do as little work as possible and I’ll report on how that affects my income, my happiness and my productivity.

Are you wasting your time? Are you being busy because that’s what expected in your job, or because you feel lost without it? What’s on your NOT To-Do list for this week? Share below!