Hello from Berlin, where I’m currently petsitting a hamster named Winston for the next two weeks 🙂
|Isn’t he cute!!!|
Next door to the apartment is an overgrown 18th century cemetery – full of wildflowers, songbirds, and red squirrels. It’s delightful!
And like most old European cemeteries, the artwork is stunning.
It’s also an incredibly peaceful place to walk and think each morning before I fire up the laptop.
Obviously being surrounded by all of this beauty and death got me thinking a lot about time, how much I’ve got left of it (eek!), whether I’m truly making the best use of each day, and whether I’m trying to force too many things to happen too fast with a bunch of side projects.
Here in Germany, there’s a concept called eigenzeit, which means something like “the time inherent to a specific process”.
It’s human nature to try and rush things, or wish certain things would hurry up in our lives.
But if we view everything through the lens of eigenzeit, a healthier way to approach time is to simply accept that things will take however long they need to take. No more, no less.
It’s almost like I can feel a weight lifting off me when I reframe everything this way
If you haven’t read the book Four Thousand Weeks, it talks about why we need to approach our time management more consciously like this – and why we need to make better choices about what we shouldn’t spend our time, energy, and thoughts on.
It’s sort of an anti-productivity, anti-hustle time-management book, and I highly recommend it if you’re feeling stressed out as a freelancer (and tbh, who isn’t right now?)
We’re all so caught up in:
The grind of daily tasks
Trying to be mega-productive
Making endless to-do lists
Wishing we had more money/time
Worrying that we don’t measure up to everyone else on the internet
Wondering if AI is going to destroy humanity
Struggling to make time for ourselves and our family
Trying to do more and be more…while our days blur into one big conveyor belt of, well…stuff.
The author states that to slow things down in our busy brains, we have to get brutally realistic about the fact that our lives will never be fully optimized, and our to-do lists will never be finished.
We need to make conscious choices about what’s really important to us, and what we should be neglecting in order to make room for the stuff that brings more joy and value into our life.
Time isn’t a resource so much as a construct. We’re constantly pushed the narrative online that we need to squeeze as much into our days as possible in order to be successful.
And the more we fail at doing that, the more panicked we get about everything.
But we shouldn’t feel this way.
“The more you try to manage your time with the goal of achieving a feeling of total control, and freedom from the inevitable constraints of being human, the more stressful, empty and frustrating life gets.
But the more you confront the facts of finitude instead – and work with them, rather than against them – the more productive, meaningful and joyful life becomes.
I don’t think the feeling of anxiety ever completely goes away; we’re even limited, apparently, in our capacity to embrace our limitations.
But I’m aware of no other time management technique that’s half as effective as just facing the way things truly are” – Oliver Burkeman
And with that – I’m going to shut the laptop and head off to the park to find some squirrels.
Catch you next Monday!
This week’s newsletter recommendations
- Good Content! – this one’s for B2B content writers and marketers who want to learn how to create amazing content that drives growth.
- Successful Freelance Mom – if you’re trying to juggle freelancing and family, this weekly newsletter is for you! Get tips and advice on growing and scaling your freelance writing business, plus a behind-the-scenes look at email marketing.
- Write On – get free copywriting tips to help you upskill and get better results for clients.
Need some pro tips on getting clients?
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