“If you can’t find a game where the odds are stacked in your favor, create one.” — James Clear, Atomic Habits
This quote alone can be enough to make you stick to your habits and succeed in everything — including your own life.
Let’s be honest. You can’t be the best at everything. You can’t be the best worker that makes the most money while also having the most free time. No matter how much you want to have those things, time holds us back and puts most of us on equal ground. So how do we battle this issue? Well, let’s look at the time we have in a day. Assuming you’re getting enough sleep to properly heal your body, you’re sleeping 8 hours every night. That leaves 16 hours throughout the day. Most people spend around 8-10 hours a day actively working. That leaves us with 6-8 hours in our day that we can fill with whatever we want. But how do we choose what to fill it with?
James Clear has a process to help anybody find something productive that they could fill their time with. You simply ask yourself four questions, and if the answer to all of them is the same thing, then that’s the thing you want to spend your free time doing.
Question 1: “What feels like fun to me, but work to others?”
This question is to help you distinguish between things you enjoy doing and things you feel like you have to do even though you don’t like them. For example, I enjoy writing. This doesn’t feel like work to me — it feels fun. I could spend all day doing it.
Question 2: “What makes me lose track of time?”
The purpose of this question is to make sure that you would be comfortable with practicing something all day to get better at it if you needed to. I’ll use the example of writing again. Let’s say I thought my quality in writing went down because I thought I didn’t need to try as hard. A willingness to practice all day and losing track of time in doing so would result in higher quality of writing, but I won’t feel drained after doing it.
Question 3: “Where do I get greater returns than the average person?”
This question is pretty self explanatory, but people have a tendency to assume that “returns” means money. Although yes, this can be true, it’s more important for you to feel satisfied after you do whatever it is you’re putting time towards. Satisfaction as a reward comes before money when it comes to working.
Question 4: “What comes naturally to me?”
This question is as simple and upfront as it can be. Think about something you’re naturally good at or have a talent for. Not necessarily something you already know — think about something that’s easy for you to learn. That way you won’t get confused as easily as the average person when you do it.
Your ideal ways of living should involve something that answers all four of those questions. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. Maybe the thing you answered those questions with isn’t something you can build your life around. Although these positions are certainly challenging, they hold the most potential. Why? Because you can make a whole new field of work that has absolutely no competition because nobody else has thought of it. Whatever you answered those questions with is your calling, and I encourage you to pursue it even though it might be scary.
What are your thoughts? What other processes of elimination do you use to determine what to do with your free time? I want to hear your thoughts! Also, consider following this blog, liking it, checking out other posts and sharing them with your friends — they could find it useful and I would sincerely appreciate it. Stay tuned for future blog posts every Monday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday around noon, and try to be the reason someone smiles today 🙂