Ryan said “I want to see how long I can lead a life without a fixed schedule” when we were hiking in the mountains the other day. We’d blown off work for the day, an easy thing to do since we both mainly work for ourselves, but have a few part-time jobs on the side too.
I keep meeting more and more people like us who opt to take part-time or even seasonal jobs over full-time ones out of choice, because they like having a lot of unstructured time to do what they want. It’s probably not a coincidence that they’re all involved with outdoor recreation in some way. I’m not suggesting that you drop your full-time job and switch to a frugal lifestyle – I’m just observing that more and more people I know are opting for less money and less certain employment in exchange for more TIME.
Speaking for myself, I jumped off the corporate treadmill a bit over 5 years ago, and I can’t believe how much happier and productive I’ve become by working for myself and having lots of free time. Time to see my friends, time to volunteer in my community, time go on lots of hikes, eat dinner with my wife every night, take an afternoon nap, borrow books from the library, take classes at the gym – none of which I fit into my schedule when I worked full time for someone else.
Contrary to what you might think, pulling together lots of intermittent income sources is far less stressful than hanging onto one for dear life. There are no office politics to play, no deranged bosses to appease, and the commute is way easier. In fact, I argue that being able to generate secondary sources of income is a vital survival skill in our economy, since there’s no such thing as a sure job anymore. If you want a safety net, make your own.
But the point of this post is not about making money as much as it is about having more free and unscheduled time to savor your life. It you want to make something, make yourself more time.