Leisure enriches our lives with gratification. Work, on the other hand, adds value and meaning to our lives. Imagine an absence of either of them.
You wake up one day and find yourself in an 18th-century workhouse. You are forced to hard labor for at least 18 hours each day. You are overworked and sleep-deprived, yet you continue to toil for a shabby meal. You dream with open eyes, thinking about blue sky and distant stars. Any fleeting thought or memory that might distract your mind from your present turmoil becomes your companion in misery. You want your suffering to end but you are stuck in a loop. Your soul dies a little every day. Your body becomes diseased and starts to rot. You hate your life and you want to end it. Sounds horrible! Doesn’t it?
Let’s experience the other end of the rope.
You wake up one day and find yourself in a mansion, surrounded with numerous helps. You have clean rooms, clean clothes, timely meals, and a tended garden. In short, there is no activity which requires your attention or supervision. You read interesting books and listen to music from all over the world. Days pass by, weeks vanish, months flee; the only constant sound is the ticking of a clock. Books appear uninteresting, music stops calming you down; you run around the mansion in a manic fit, trying to find something worth doing but all you see are clouds of leisure spread evenly till your eyes can see. You start acting crazy and pull your hair in a raging fit. You hate your life and you want to end it. Sounds horrible! Doesn’t it?
Leisure enriches our lives with gratification. Work, on the other hand, adds value and meaning to our lives. Absence or abundance of any of them can lead to a disaster.
A unique distinction between humans and animals is the understanding of time. We constantly live in all three avenues of time; past, present and future. We constantly ponder upon the past and waste our present, worrying about the future.
The correct way to go about is to understand that time is an expensive commodity. Even if you were born poor, you were showered with this priceless bounty called time. But it’s also so fleeting that anyone can steal it away from us. So, we have to use wisely, the little time we got, before it all runs out.
Most of our time is wasted in useless actions, entertainment, and things which are not of purpose.
You start working on a writing assignment and minutes later you find yourself on YouTube. You have no clue, how this happened.
You begin your day by trying to tidy up your room and end up playing PS4. You did not do it deliberately, I know.
You decide to go out to get groceries but end up chatting with a friend. Not your fault!
Let’s try a different approach. The first step about fixing any problem is to acknowledge the problem. You need to understand that you have limited time.
This is your life and it’s ending one minute at a time.
You are dying daily and you need to grab every hour in your grasp.
Even with all the wealth in the world, you cannot buy a single second; that’s how priceless time is!
Once you have understood that your time is running out, you have won half the battle. Now plan and execute!
Your 24hr day should be divided in 3 components – Work, Leisure, and sleep.
Work – An ideal job steals 8 – 10 hours of your day. It’s important because it’s easy money. Till the time you have not achieved financial independence, you need to work for someone else. You cannot be master of your time; you cannot be totally free until you have earned the right. So happily lend 10 hours to your job. But shit doesn’t end here. What about your dreams? What about investing in you?
You thought of that great business idea, you want to monetize your creativity; for all of these, you need time to acquire new skills and hone them. Set aside 4-5 hours for self-improvement.
Leisure – After 15 hours of work, you earned the right to waste maybe 1 hour. Text that attractive female you wanted to go out with. Ask her out for a date. Listen to Morrison. Read Dostoyevsky.
Sleep – Good night and sleep well. 8 hours of training ahead. After such a disciplined day, your subconscious would train you in your sleep for another exciting day ahead. Nothing beats good, old, sleep after a hard, productive day.
What better way to end this chapter than a quote from the masters!
“Nothing, Lucilius, is ours, except time. We were entrusted by nature with the ownership of this single thing, so fleeting and slippery that anyone who will can oust us from possession. What fools these mortals be! They allow the cheapest and most useless things, which can easily be replaced, to be charged in the reckoning, after they have acquired them; but they never regard themselves as in debt when they have received some of that precious commodity—time! And yet time is the one loan which even a grateful recipient cannot repay.” – Seneca