How To Find Time For Meaningful Work

'Steal from comfort'

We often see somebody do something cool and secretly ask ourselves, “Shit, why can’t I do something similar?”

And then we dive into one of the two camps:

  1. “I lack money.”

  2. “There isn’t enough time.”

Money is an interesting subject, but let’s leave it for another day and talk a little about time.

I never thought I’d be struggling with finding the time to do something important. I thought it was for somebody else, but not me. Somebody, who has problems with motivation.

I never had problems with motivation.

I would sit down to complete my SATs and…just do it. I was the most disciplined person I knew. I prided myself that discipline is a superpower.

Until I started doing creative work.

The kind of work you’re afraid to publish. The kind of work that requires you to be vulnerable, open to criticism, honest.

When you do such work, all sorts of things happen to your brain. Procrastination comes in the most elaborate disguises (like reading).

At the moment, I am actively procrastinating on two things:

  1. Creating a new podcast.

  2. Writing a new book.

Instead of doing those things, I keep on writing Medium posts. After all, it’s always easy to do things you’re used to.

We all have things to do. We’re busy.

But busy is simply another name for “comfortable in my current work and life habits.”

‘Busy’ a choice. Even if it doesn’t feel like it. Especially when it doesn’t feel like it. It’s procrastination in its truest form. Because anybody can say, “I am busy” and get away with it.

Meanwhile, meaningful work still gets undone…

What do you do?

This rant from Derek Sivers really resonates with me.

Derek says, “steal the time from comfort.”

We were all sold the narrative that when we do work that matters, it should be easy. But anything new, interesting, meaningful, often (if not always) feels quite uncomfortable.

There is friction. And the more friction there is, the more likely you’re doing something valuable.

So, what should you do? What’s the call to action in this post?

Like all genuine posts, it has no clear CTA. Let’s leave that for self-help gurus who create elaborate step-by-step plans for people to become millionaires while they sleep.

There’s is, though, some advice, which I use myself.

Go where the discomfort is.

At every point in time, you could be either doing something that’s comfortable, indulging in the old habits and routines. Or you could be doing something new and worthwhile.

Those people you look at – who do something cool – aren’t smarter than you. They weren’t born with a creative “gene”.

They just taught themselves to sit through the discomfort of doing something new.

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