Slowing Down the Experience of Time| Internetly Vol. 18
On how your vocation can ruin your life, Tim Ferris' "The Four-Hour Workweek", and moving freelancing deadlines.
41.37% of the year remains.
I’m one of the many people who simply can’t fathom how fast time is passing. Last July felt expansive, drawn out by delicious, warm summer nights, Meiomi Pinot Noir, and lazy beach days at Rockaway. But now, the days slip by like sand.
I wondered why the time has felt accelerated in comparison to seasons past. Then I remembered the major difference between last year and this year is that, well, I work a full-time job.
I did some digging and discovered that repetition speeds up our perception of time. When we’ve established a routine, our bodies develop a kind of muscle memory. We do things on auto-pilot because our neural synapses are strengthened after repeating the same action continuously.
According to the New York Magazine, the more passive a memory is, the less likely it is to stick. This makes me think of knowledge workers, those whose eyes remain fixated on a screen while their body is immobile. It’s no wonder why people wonder where the days have gone.
I stumbled upon this quote from an anon that neatly summarizes why it’s important to prioritize breaking up the monotony.
Short version: If you do the same things, think the same ideas, and take the same inputs the same way, every day, your brain essentially compresses that time as “Nothing new to store or report, captain!”, and whoosh…time lost.
On the other hand, continually engaging your brain in new ways, or with new ideas/people/events keeps it busy reinforcing neural pathways and storing more memories.
This slows down your perception of time.
So every day, every conversation, every opportunity, I try to experience it in a new way by asking “How can I change this up, introduce a new idea, or ask a question I’ve never considered, and slow down my experience of time?”
Here’s to slowing down time. Routine be damned.
🖼 On Becoming a Prolific Creator
This Week: Your Vocation Can Still Ruin Your Life
Many creators would say they’ve found their vocation.
But finding your calling doesn’t mean that it still can’t ruin your life. Oftentimes, when we find what we love, we can make excuses to fall into bad habits that drive us crazy.
When I first discovered that I could make a living off of writing, I was ecstatic. I started to pour my all into this career, oftentimes working late nights, weekends, and holidays. Work consumed me. I wouldn’t shut up about it. How could I? It was personal. It was my vocation.
It wasn’t until I burned out in January that I looked around and realized how much my passion consumed me. Work and life weren’t separated. They had coagulated into one and suffocated me in the process.
Like all work, vocations follow the same slow, long-term growth trajectory. It takes time. Hate to break it to you, but loving what you do won’t guarantee to turn you into “an overnight success.”
Find the balance between ambition, consistency, and intensity. Otherwise, you’re capable of becoming your own worst boss. And where’s the creative fun in that?
Like all work, vocations follow a long-term growth trajectory. Take your time. ⏰
🥒 Content Diet
The Four Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris
I bought Tim Ferris’ “Four-Hour Workweek” on a whim last Tuesday.
I read tons of bad reviews before clicking ‘buy now.’ But I figured it’s a classic for a reason, so why not take a gander and then come up to my own conclusions.
I’ll say this: The audiobook is not good. Whoever picked the narrator needs to check themselves. The way he reads makes Tim sound vapid and holier-than-thou. This is a shame because he seems like a cool guy IRL.
Despite the hiccup, it’s solid. Here are my favorite takeaways:
“A person's success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.” → I have a lot of uncomfortable conversations coming up. Understanding that this type of communication is what allows you to be authentic and develop inner strength was helpful.
“It's lonely at the top. Ninety-nine percent of people in the world are convinced they are incapable of achieving great things, so they aim for the mediocre. The level of competition is thus fiercest for 'realistic' goals, paradoxically making them the most time and energy-consuming.” → An interesting way of looking at things. He claims that making $100 million is easier than $1 million. Most people are intimidated by exorbitant goals and don’t bother clawing their way to the top.
Be willing to push out of your comfort zone by having uncomfortable situations and aiming for ludicrously high goals. ✔️
✍🏼 Freelancing Journey
This Week: You’re in Control
Freelancing can sometimes feel like full-on plate spinning.
You’re juggling multiple priorities, deadlines, clients, all while putting in the extra effort to go above and beyond. It can be….a lot.
I started to feel my plates pile up last week. My anxiety rolled up her sleeves and was ready to rumble. But then I stumbled upon this little Tweet that turned out to be very helpful.
While it is not ideal to move back deadlines with clients, it’s far superior to the alternative. You know, if you were to:
Deliver low-quality, sloppy work that you rushed to complete.
Hurt your mental health by working overtime and giving yourself anxiety.
Gain the reputation of a freelancer who might be punctual, but delivers “so-so” work. Yikes.
So next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, remember that you became a freelancer for a reason. Use your autonomy. It’s one of the best perks we have.
But I’ll mention one last thing. Keep tabs on how often you find yourself pushing deadlines. If it’s too often, you might be taking on more than you think.
Pushing back deadlines is better than delivering low-quality work on time. ✂️
Thanks for reading!
I’m one day late, but at least we’re staying consistent.
If you liked this week’s edition, it would mean the world if you shared it (or told a pal!)
Anyways, I hope you have a beautiful week. I’m always here if you need anything.