It's strange sometimes to see yourself through other people's eyes. Others see things -- both good and bad -- that you don't see in yourself.
"I see you as outdoorsy," a new friend told me the other day, which caught me off guard. I've never thought of myself that way.
Or a few months ago, a friend told me, "Every time I see you, you're doing something amazing." Me? I love my life, but much of it seems so mundane, so boring. But I only see this friend a few times a year, and through her eyes I'm always doing something new and different, like training for a marathon or traveling to South America or writing a book. To me, these are the exceptions and not the rule. Mostly, I sit here at this desk, typing on this keyboard, writing about money.
Then on Monday night, my Spanish tutor said something else that surprised me. We were talking about the books I've been reading and my plans for the coming months. "Tu eres un mago del tiempo," she told me: "You are a magician of time." When I asked what she meant, she said that I seem to do so many things that I must be able to create time out of thin air.
Well, I can't create time, of course, as much as I wish it were true. But I've been thinking about this comment for the past couple of days, and I've realized that maybe I've finally learned to be productive -- at least more productive than I used to be. Here are a few of the things I do to magically create more time:
Note: I do still dabble in other interests from time-to-time. I'm always practicing photography a little for instance, but I do it with a cheap point-and-shoot camera, not my fancy DSLR. I still read comics -- but not much (I still haven't bought any comics in 2012). But these other interests are much, much less important to me than they used to be.
Last night, I met Tim Clark for dinner at a local restaurant -- Clark is the editor of Business Model You, and a past contributor to Get Rich Slowly. I told him about the whole "magician of time" thing.
"You know what part of it is," he told me. "You don't work a nine-to-five job. A lot of times, a nine-to-five job can prevent you from using your time the way you'd like." Good point. I do work hard, but I'm able to work on my schedule. Some days I don't write at all. But there are weeks where I'm writing from dawn to dusk for seven days straight. The key is that I have the flexibility to work when I want (or need) to work (and, of course, not having children allows me to be more flexible with my time too).
I realize that not everybody wants to live this sort of life. That's fine. Do what works for you. As for me, I'm having a blast. I don't have time for everything I want to do, but I'm still able to accomplish a lot. Maybe someday I'll actually find the secret to creating more hours in the day. Until then, I'll continue to pursue my passions with the time I've been given.