As a music composer committed to help others (and myself) to find the freedom they desire, I often think about the composition of freedom. Just like a musical composition, where you can in principle write any tune you like in any key you want, we have complete control over our freedom. Just like a musical composition, where the tune or piece can only be expressed in seven notes and twenty-four keys, our freedom is constrained by days limited to twenty-four hours and external events that impact on our lives on a macro and micro level.
But what does freedom mean? This is an age old question, and a whole philosophical school called existentialism has been dedicated to formulate an answer to that question. The famous French philosopher Sartre stated: freedom is what we do with what is done to us. The Austrian psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl famously proclaimed: Everything can be taken away from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedom — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.
In your day-to-day life as a solopreneur, the concept of freedom can be translated into a practical, actionable way of life. Freedom arises from taking control of your time, your finances and your location (choosing where you want to live and work, with online working become a huge game changer in that respect). While most small business owners focus on the finances, your most precious asset is in fact your time: unlike money, time is finite and can not be recuperated.
With every day constrained to 24 hours, we all have the same amount of time available to succeed in our business. But while you can’t magic up additional hours to your day, you can optimize your time in such a way that it may feel like you are stretching it. Tony Robbins, Elon Musk and Richard Branson all have exactly the same hours in the day you have. However, they compose their days so effectively that they give you the illusion of creating additional hours on top of the same 24 hours ‘common mortals’ have available. The good news is that you can do the same if you wish. Here are various ways in which you can ‘stretch’ your time by optimizing the way you are using it:
- Find out which are the 2-3 actions that will make all the difference to your vision and goals. Ensure these actions are prioritized and completed consistently every single day. Ditch, or if possible delegate the rest of your ‘to-do-list’ as it will only serve as a distraction to your goals
- Concentrate on what is ‘important’ rather than what is ‘urgent’.
- Create clarity in your life through effective habits and systems that help you automatically repeat the actions that will bring you closer to your goals. Spending time procrastinating or thinking about what to do next, is a wasteful use of your resources. Instead, set a specific time slot every week to review your priorities and ensure your day-to-day actions are aligned to them. This will save you a lot of time on the long run
Doing all of the above consistently will ensure that you take control of your time, which in turn will improve your finances and give you more life and business choices. Ultimately, you will be able to compose your own freedom in the way you see fit.