The average human has less than 30,000 days to live.
The life-changing question is: What will you do about this awareness? Most people think about it for a moment but do nothing.
They are fully conscious of the finite nature of human life but can’t seem to improve their schedule to do more of what puts time to great use.
Time, the one constant in our lives, is our greatest asset and our most significant constraint.
It’s the resource from which all other resources flow.
Thinkers like Aristotle, Immanuel Kant, and Henri Bergson have offered various perspectives on time, from linear progression to a more subjective and fluid experience.
“You must vie with time’s swiftness in the speed of using it, and, as from a torrent that rushes by and will not always flow, you must drink quickly,” Stoic philosopher Seneca wrote in his book, On the Shortness of Life.
The bitter practical truth is we squander time on trivialities, distractions, and obligations that don’t align with our deeper purpose.
We’ve let the clock dictate our lives instead of us dictating the clock.
Many people think they have an unbreakable contract with time.
They rush from task to task, day to day, like leaves caught in a relentless current, often feeling like they’re not in control.
They are tired of the daily time crunch but don’t know how to seize control and set their time free.
The modern world has glorified busyness to an unhealthy degree.
We’ve been conditioned to equate a packed schedule with productivity, as if the more we do, the more valuable we are.
But it’s a trap that leads to a perpetual cycle of exhaustion and anxiety, leaving us feeling like prisoners in our own lives.
If you have willingly handed over your minutes and hours to the ceaseless demands of modern life, you have time to break free.
You can set your life free; no more rushing or overwhelm — just pure, unadulterated freedom.
You can become a time billionaire – anyone who has mastered the art of time management and productivity to such an extent that they seem to have more time in their day than the average person.
While there might not be literal billionaires of time, there are certainly people who are highly effective at making the most of their time.
The good news is you can set your time free and, more importantly, keep it that way.
“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot,” says author Michael Altshuler.
If you’ve ever felt like time is slipping through your fingers, if you’ve found yourself drowning in a sea of tasks and obligations, you can do something about it.
True freedom is the autonomy to choose how you spend your time, to prioritise what truly matters to you, and to design a life that aligns with your values.
It’s also the ability to be the author of your own narrative, determine how your time is spent, and shape your life according to your values.
So, here’s the critical question:
How do you set your time free in a world that constantly tugs at it with demands and distractions?
It’s a question that requires introspection, discipline, and a willingness to challenge the status quo.
Start with what you know: your schedule
How does it look now?
Does it serve your authentic purpose? Is everything on your calendar helping you get closer to your most important goal? What tasks or activities suck up your time most without you even realising it?
“You get to decide where your time goes. You can either spend it moving forward, or you can spend it putting out fires. You decide. And if you don’t decide, others will decide for you,” says author Tony Morgan.
Look at your to-do list and ask yourself, “What are the tasks that truly matter?” Determine what activities or experiences are most meaningful and essential to you.
You’ll be surprised how many items can be delegated or dropped altogether. Or what you can start doing more of for a more meaningful life.
Take a step back and evaluate your current commitments and responsibilities. I did this, and it helped me identify areas where I was overextended. It’s okay to scale back or renegotiate commitments that no longer align with your priorities.
When I started doing this, it was like I cleared away the clutter, giving me more time for the things that genuinely moved the needle in my life.
Your life is dynamic, and so should your approach to time management. Take time to assess what’s working and what’s not.
I started doing this weekly, making small tweaks to my routines and strategies as needed.
It keeps you agile and adaptable.
Whilst you are reviewing your schedule, think about the idea of “busyness” versus true productivity.
Don’t confuse the two.
When I evaluated the quality of my work rather than the quantity, things shifted. I began prioritising tasks based on their impact, not just their urgency. It’s about working less on valuable tasks that get you closer to the big picture.
It’s essential to evaluate and reassess your schedule regularly.
As life changes and new opportunities arise, make adjustments to ensure your time remains free and focused on what matters most.
Don’t resist routines
Another key habit is starting and ending your day with a practical and personal routine that works for you.
I can’t stress this enough.
Routines often involve time blocking, where specific periods are dedicated to certain tasks or activities.
It helps ensure that you allocate focused time to your priorities.
A well-structured routine provides the necessary framework to efficiently manage your time and ensure that you allocate it to the activities that matter most to you.
How you start your day sets the tone for the rest of it.
I’ll be honest; I used to resist routines like the plague.
I thought they were boring and stifling. I used to rush out of bed, barely giving myself time to wake up properly.
But when I started a morning routine that included exercise and a healthy breakfast, it transformed my day. It’s like building a solid foundation for your day, and it frees up mental space for more important decisions.
Mike Murdock was right, “The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine.” A routine can establish clear boundaries between work, personal time, and leisure.
It prevents work from encroaching on your personal life and vice versa.
Over time, routines can lead to increased life efficiency. When you have a set schedule, you’re less likely to waste time on decision-making or procrastination.
While routines provide structure, make it flexible. You can adjust your routine to accommodate unexpected events or changing priorities.
Mind your “energy peaks”
Take a cue from your body’s natural rhythms.
Most people have times when they feel more alert and productive (energy peaks) and times when they feel less energized (energy slumps).
Don’t push yourself to work at all hours. Start paying attention to your energy levels, and you will realise that you are more alert and productive at certain times of the day.
These days, I tackle my most important tasks first thing in the morning, my peak energy hours, and it’s like having a turbo boost for my productivity.
Since I shifted to “body rhythm mode,” I now have more energy, focus, and a sense of accomplishment for meaningful work, which sets a positive tone for the rest of the day.
I’m working with my mind and body.
Bruce Lee said, flow like water. Resistance is the enemy.
Use your energy slumps for less demanding or routine tasks that don’t require intense concentration. Schedule things like responding to emails, organising, or repetitive tasks at a time you are least productive.
Be more conscious of your distractions
They’re everywhere, right?
Start by recognising what distracts you the most. Is it your phone, notifications, noisy surroundings, or something else? Understanding your specific distractions is the first step in managing them.
Define your objectives and tasks for the day. A clear sense of purpose can help you stay on track and resist distractions.
Organise your workspace to minimise potential distractions. Turn off unnecessary notifications, close irrelevant tabs or apps, and keep your workspace tidy.
But in the end, Ultimately, it comes down to self-discipline. Train yourself to recognise when you’re being pulled away from your tasks and consciously bring your focus back.
Now, let’s talk about boundaries
I used to be a “yes” person, saying yes to every request every favour, until my schedule resembled a chaotic mess.
But once I learned to say “no” when necessary, I gained a newfound freedom. Reclaiming your time and spending it on things that truly matter to you is liberating.
Setting your time free is not just about time management; it’s about life management. Squeezing more tasks into your day won’t make you super productive and successful.
Life management is not about cramming your schedule; it’s about making conscious and intentional choices.
When I started saying “no” to things that didn’t align with my values and priorities, that’s when I truly began to set my time free. Learn to say no to activities or commitments that don’t align with your priorities.
When I decided to put myself and my priorities first, things started to change. It’s like putting on your own oxygen mask before helping others on a turbulent flight — you’ve got to take care of yourself first.
Make decisions ahead of time
People who make a large number of decisions throughout the day, deplete their mental energy and make it more challenging to make good choices later on.
If you spend a ridiculous amount of time deciding what to wear, what to eat, or what task to tackle next, you are throwing away precious time.
To combat this, I make the decision ahead of time.
For instance, to minimise morning decision fatigue, I plan my outfit and meal for the day the night before. It might seem trivial, but it frees up mental bandwidth for more critical decisions.
You can reduce the number of choices you have to make by limiting options. For example, streamline your wardrobe or meal choices to minimise decision-making.
In conclusion, setting time free is an evolving skill you can hone over time. It’s an ongoing process of fine-tuning your habits and routines.
It’s about making intentional choices, being mindful of how you use your time and building a lifestyle that maximises your potential while maintaining balance and sanity.
So, keep refining and adjusting your schedule to free up time for everything that means the world to you.
And remember what author Alan Lakein said, “Time = life; therefore, waste your time and waste of your life, or master your time and master your life.”
Remember, becoming a “time billionaire” is a journey, and these habits may require practice and adaptation to fit your personal circumstances.
It’s about finding what works best for you and continuously striving to improve your time management skills.