If we were to broadly categorize the time that you spend each day, doing whatever it is that you do, we’d come up with two main buckets.
On the one hand, you have the time that you spend at work. These are your productive hours, doing something that will presumably generate some income for you. In the most traditional sense, that’s a job. In a context more relevant to this space, it could be updating your blog or working on your affiliate marketing campaigns. That’s work.
Taking up the rest of the hours of the day, not including sleep or household chores, would be what we could generally call leisure time. This is the time that you might spend watching TV, playing video games or enjoying a cup of coffee at the local cafe. This is the time that you might be giving your brain a break.
The Zero Sum Game?
When you go in with the mentality of seeking a healthy work-life balance out this situation, you make the assumption that one must come at the expense of the other. When you’re working, you’re sacrificing leisure time. When you’re relaxing, you’re sacrificing the opportunity to put in more work. Or are you?
You might remember some time back when I wrote about how you can work when you’re not working. Thanks to the nature of the dot com lifestyle, you have the opportunity to “work” wherever and whenever you like. You can get stuff done while waiting for your car to be serviced or while waiting for your spouse to finish shopping at the mall.
But that’s still “work” in a very real sense of the word. These are still tasks and activities that you would normally be doing when you’re in a proper “work” mode, except you’re in a different location at a different time.
It’s not pure leisure anymore, even if the kind of productive work that you do gives you some sense of inherent satisfaction and pleasure. You, like me, might enjoy writing blog posts… but it’s still work. You might like editing photos or tinkering with numbers… but it’s still work.
A World of Possibility
What I posit to you today isn’t quite the same thing. In fact, it’s quite different altogether. If we were to take a look back at the most famous and most insightful of ancient Greek and Roman philosophers, we’ll find that the overwhelming majority led a life of leisure. They didn’t have to do much real “work,” since their basic needs were already being met.
This freed them up to pursue and explore other interests. This empowered them with the opportunity to simply sit upon a hill and overlook the rest of the city, pondering life’s great questions. In a modern context, this could be equivalent taking a hike along a local trail or hiking to a vantage point like the one shown above.
But how is this productive? How is this helping you move closer to your goals of achieving the dot com lifestyle and increasing the income that you generate on the Internet. Once again, we turn back to our Greek and Roman friends for the answer. When you are focused too heavily on the specific “work” tasks at hand, you don’t give an opportunity for your mind to wander. And it is when your mind is free and open that you have the best chance of being struck by truly novel inspiration.
Have you ever wondered why you tend to come up with the best ideas while in the shower or while lying in bed? It’s because, for those few minutes, you are unburdened by your normal responsibilities. You have the privilege of free association. For some, meditation can achieve a similar effect.
Whatever it is that you do, never forget the power of proper leisure time. It could be the biggest factor in getting you over that hump and onto the next level.