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1. It motivates me to earn more.
Although going down to two days a week was initially a shock to my mind and body, I am so grateful because it has driven to earn more in unconventional ways.
It has been quite difficult to let go of the “safety net” of a 9-5 job, but it has been equally thrilling to try new things and push my comfort zone further.
Over the last 5 months, I started selling furniture and clothing on Marketplace.
The more I sold, the more motivated I was to get the same results.
I decided to focus on a few avenues to achieve these results:
- Continue selling furniture.
- Begin a niche of pre-loved petite clothing.
- Apply as an UberEats Driver for flexible income.
Although the above are volatile forms of income, I am working on making these permanent enough to last the 2019-2020 summer before I go back to university.
Now that I work less, it means more time to use the creative side of my brain!
It has been a challenge so far, but I would rather this experience, as it is teaching me a lot about self-discipline and work ethic.
Years ago, not working meant I binge-watched TV shows, movies and YouTube videos.
Now, it is an opportunity to become a better person in all aspects of my personal life and career.
I know that I can live on a bare-minimum income because over the last 7 years, I had to. Earning triple that amount this year taught me that more money doesn’t always mean ‘more wealthy’.
Although I was putting over 50% of my income into savings, a portion was spent on critical medical appointments (understandably, an uncontrollable variable).
Another portion of that was going straight into a travel-credit-card which required debt payments.
Yet another portion would go into retail spending because I love fashion and my restraint was low on account of personal-family crises.
Over half of what I was “saving” went straight to expenses.
This was a hard pill for me to swallow once my contract was amended.
Since I conditioned myself to ‘survive on minimum wage’, it meant I had a long way to go before I could properly manage a higher income. (It probably sounds weird AF, but that’s the truth!)
Now, I can easily break down where my money is going.
Each month, I know:
- All necessary bills are paid.
- A portion of income goes into savings (for travel, etc).
- A portion of income goes into investment (a new experiment).
This knowledge will teach me vigilance once my income increases again.
This gives me the confidence to move forward in my writing and e-commerce business.
Basically, I have the motivation to earn more because I am not relying on a conventional pay-check.
2. New sense of fulfilment.
When I was working 4 days a week, I was already building The Tiny Healer.
30 hours a week was committed to my job. On top of that, the usual commitments needed tending to: dinner, laundry, meal-prep (if any), social life.
Realistically, I could only churn out one article per fortnight or once a month at times.
At least once a month, I would read or listen to a podcast where that person would emphasise, “consistency matters”.
So I tried to write weekly. I wanted to be more consistent.
So, whenever I had spare time (after 5PM or on weekends), I consciously made the decision to draft as many articles as I could.
I also started reading more: before 9AM at work and after dinner at home.
As each week passed, my passion for writing increased. In turn, my productivity increased.
Now that my job requires two days a week, I have more time to do the same tasks but within a flexible range of time.
Doing things that I enjoy = more fulfilment.
I have more flexibility to read blog posts, books (I’m currently reading Rich Dad Poor Dad) and spending time with people that matter.
When I EMBRACE the opportunity I’ve been given, the fulfilment is tenfold. I can sit back in this chair, at this desk I’m writing at and feel true contentment in what I’m doing.
Side note: I’m not perfect. I’m still working on my mindset and habits.
Yes, I have moments of contentment and joy, but there are also many moments of self-doubt and the “Poor Dad Mindset” thinking I should just find a full-time job because ‘it would be easier’ or so most people say. Even myself until very recently.
I’ve known for years that it was possible to make a living out of one’s passion. However, the people that actually do, are few and far between compared to the masses. This was something I didn’t know.
It takes hard work, commitment and patience. I have the hard-work down, but commitment and patience is still a work in progress for me.
For the time being, I can be at peace knowing that at this point in my life, I am fulfilled.
3. Mastering The 3 C’s – Content, Creation, Connection.
Every time I’d read an article or see a graphic about content creation, the consensus was the same: content is king.
Starting The Tiny Healer, I wanted to foster a sense of connection with readers who perhaps had similar experiences or interests in mental health and self-development.
Over the last year, I found that posting once a month did not garner much connection or interest.
Now that I’m working two days a week, I can’t use the excuse that most of my time is spent at a job.
I can take charge of my writing, when I write and when I post.
The last few months in particular, I’ve been using my time to experiment with different ways to create content. Mainly, it has to do with writing and ways to present it differently using Photoshop and Canva.
I often think about:
- What I’ve told myself in the past.
- What conversations inspired or hurt me.
- Who gave me the confidence to continue on with life.
- What is the message I want to convey every time I post? What value does this add to someone’s life?
This is a skill that needs a lot of work and harnessing, but in time, I know I’ll find a way that feels most natural.
We are all a work in progress.
Even if we reach one goal, we will soon grow restless and want to find something new to look forward to — that’s okay!
Embrace life’s changes.
Even though this new-found time has allowed me to explore my passion for creativity, my main focus is to write as I feel inspired and hopefully add value to those who happen to read my content.
At the end of the day, one life inspired is time well-spent.
What has helped you increase productivity? Was it having less time to work on your passion or did more time push you further?