Hey, this site uses sponsored adverts to make a lil' money. If you'd like to whitelist firebythirtyfive.blogspot.com.au that'd be ace.

Friday, 1 September 2017

The oft forgotten value of doing absolutely nothing

The average adult makes 35,000 decisions a day. Ranging from breakfast, to business deals, to whether to bother to find matching socks, to how to politely tell your annoying coworker to chew with their mouth shut, we do a lot of thinking.

I'm going to bluntly and honestly say I'm tired of thinking! Instead I challenge you to embrace the oft forgotten value of doing absolutely nothing.

Obama's suit, Steve Jobs turtle neck and Mark Zuckerbergs t-shirt

What do these three guys have in common and why do I care about their clothes? Because all three of them decided to wear the same thing every day. While most of us make 35,000 decisions a day that affect our lives, Zuckerberg and Jobs are/were running massive tech empires, and Obama was running the entire United States.

While I might stress out over whether I want to get a snack, or finish my report, these guys decisions had a big impact. By choosing to wear the same outfit every day they saved their thinking power for things that really mattered.

Decision fatigue

Decision fatigue is the reason why we eat fast food instead of cooking for dinner when we haven't got a meal plan in place.  It's the reason we lay on the couch flicking through 67 channels but not watching anything. 

When decision fatigue hits it leads to throwing your hands in the air and shouting 'I don't care anymore' even when it's something you are really passionate about. In my case, it lead to crying in the shower Tuesday morning.

Stuff the side hustles!

I asked on Twitter what side hustles people were pursuing and one answer really stuck out to me.
Thanks Happy Camper!

Between this blog, freelance writing, being a member of two committees and the board for Roller Derby I am beat. I'll be honest, I can't keep up this pace and my main hustle is suffering because of it.

I once read a blog about freelancing that said "If I'm just going to lie on my couch watching Jerry Springer reruns, I might as well be writing articles at $2 a pop. It's better than nothing". I lived this for years, feeling guilty when I wasn't chasing contracts. Every time I took a cheap contract, I figured it was better than watching reruns.

I now need to say fuck that. My relaxation and rejuvenation is worth more than that crappy $2 articles. My mental health is more important than my wallet.


I have one outstanding contract to work through, and then I'm taking a hiatus from freelance work. The return on investment for my time is minimal, and compared to my stress levels it's absolutely not worth it.

The oft forgotten value of doing absolutely nothing


So what am I doing instead of my side hustle? Absolutely bloody nothing! I am going to reserve my precious thinking power for my every day job. If I can lock in a measly 1% pay rise at the end of the year, I'll earn an extra $700 in 2018. To build a side hustle that effective I would have to neglect my sleep, my health and my boyfriend more than I already am.

Instead, I am giving myself permission to do nothing. I'm going to play video games. I'm going to read books. I'm going to bake more delicious snacks while watching Sons of Anarchy and all the other TV shows I bought on DVD back when I was a kid with too much disposable income and no idea what to do with it.

I will be having more naps!


I give myself permission to spend my downtime however I want. And once I have recovered from this fatigue (and the sun comes out, bring on summer!) I look forward to a better relationship, being happier at work (bring on that pay rise!) and having the energy to pursue things I love, not just those that might make an extra dollar.

Just a couple of days after making this decision I'm already feeling better, and my brain has kicked up a notch. When I was in high school I wrote half a novel, with this extra time on my hands my brain has run straight back to it. Perhaps NaNoWriMo is in my future.

Lost income from Side Hustling: About $50 a month
Costs of DVDs: Free (now, they were about $40 each ten years ago)
Getting back my time, energy and passion: Priceless


17 comments:

  1. Oh gosh, I've been trying to do Nanowrimo for at least 10 years. I keep saying I will do it, and then never do it because I get too busy.

    And this resonates so much with me. It's actually what I've been working towards over the last few years. I've been side-hustling for years, so much so that I actually feel really weary and exhausted. It wasn't till the last 6 - 8 months that I realised that this wasn't the answer. So I've been slowly cutting down and winding up my side business. By mid next year, my main side hustle business will be completely wound up and it will just be a matter of cleaning up the rest of my weekend side hustles.

    I cannot wait!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always remember NaNoWriMo about 5 days in... I can't catch up on 5 days of writing with no ideas :p I've got 2 months of plotting up my sleeve and a decent idea. I just need to plan an ending

      Death to side hustles (that pay hourly, or by the contract. If I have an idea to build passive / semi-passive income I may come back to it)

      Delete
  2. Yes! I am someone who can go hard for awhile, then I need to give myself a break so I don't go insane. It is key to give yourself time to rest and rejuvenate :) Thanks for the reminder!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Work Rest Play! I think it was a Mars bar add when I was a kid, but it's also a good motto. Get out of balance and things start falling down.

      Delete
  3. I’ve just finished the book “Drive” by Daniel Pink about motivation. He talks about the concept of “Flow” and how necessary that feeling is for good mental health. I’ve been feeling pretty low lately and frustrated because I feel so unproductive. I forced myself to complete a small sewing project and it made me feel so good.

    I’ve got so many little projects I want to do and struggle to make the time to do them. It’s hard to get started on them, but the feeling of actually creating something for myself is wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely! Mr. FIRE and I made a planter box the other day. It's literally a few pieces of wood smacked together in a square but getting it done felt so good :)

      Making solid things you can touch and feel is a really wonderful experience.

      Delete
  4. I am a tad tired but if 1% is $7000, then your income is $700,000 per year. This seems like a typo, unless of course you are actually an extremely successful and experienced radioloigist and are a mere few months from FI :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're a tad tired, but clearly not as tired as me when I wrote that sentence. Thanks for picking that up

      Delete
  5. Next week I've got a post coming out inspired by your Tweet as well! This was exactly me last week. I didn't get to the crying stage, although I have definitely been there in the past. Instead, I rebelled. I had so much that I "had to do", I stopped doing any of it. Except for feeding the kitties. I wanted to rebel against that obligation as well, but their furry persuasiveness overcame me.

    I've looked again at my activities, picked three that are non-negotiable (work, volunteer, my blog), and decided that I don't try to do anything else unless I have tackled those three each day. I need to focus.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That tweet was supposed to lead to a post about great side hustle ideas - funny how things turn out :D

      Focus and prioritise the important things, remember that rest is an important thing too.

      Delete
  6. Enjoyed that! I plan on doing a big fat nothing this afternoon as I relax and watch some sport. Thanks for the reminder, lest I fill my entire weekend with too much ado and not enough nothing ;)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hmm - I'm torn on this one. I absolutely agree that working for peanuts and not having a work/life balance isn't cool at all, however I am certainly not ready to give up my side hustles, I find them far too lucrative to do that and would put back my goals by quite a bit.
    I have worked my way into a super flexible schedule and can say 'no' whenever I want if I have something more important on or I'd prefer to sit on the couch (which isn't often). I also have regular breaks when little people go on holidays overseas for 3 weeks - they travel more than I do!
    I know that this isn't forever, unless I choose it to be. That helps on the tough days when I'm feeling lazy.
    I believe if you can find that balance, then it can really work.
    Enjoy your video games and let us know in 3 months how it is working for you. Do you enjoy the free time more than the work you were doing? $50/month may not be a whole lot to cut out so it might absolutely be worth it for your mental health.
    I'm guessing the free time will lead you to be more creative and you might even stumble upon a more lucrative side hustle in the process, don’t fight it ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My side hustles aren't particularly lucrative. They're doing very little for my wallet, and kicking my mental health to the curb.

      I'm keen to relax a bit, then kick off NaNoWriMo - I want to move my side hustles towards the 'build once, sell lots' kind of work. What I was doing was still trading time for money.

      Delete
    2. I hope to one day get to the 'build once, sell lots' kind as well. I just need a really good idea ;)
      Good luck with NaNoWriMo! That may very well be your golden ticket.

      Delete
  8. I only have a couple of pairs of jean, one pair of shoes(but I do have like 10 tshirts) and I'm perfectly happy spending 5 seconds choosing my outfit for the next day. I also don't mind eating the same things repeatedly and I do feel overwhelmed when I eat out because it always takes me forever to pick the perfect meal!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just got back from travelling with my Vegan friend who picks food really quickly when there is nothing on the menu, but whenever we hit up a vego place with multiple options she was stumped. Interesting how different people can handle different choices without being smacked with decision fatigue.

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...