There are 24 hours a day, last time I checked. How are you creating value for yourself during any of those hours?
Times of transition are unsettling. The more transitions we go through, the easier they become, to an extent.
If it's a transition in national power, such as happens every few years, things can be unsettling for weeks or even months. (Paying attention to the events beyond a pretty basic level of awareness just makes it worse, unfortunately. There's little comfort in being well-informed.)
Three eight-hour buckets
Robert Pagliarini, author of The Other 8 Hours: Maximize Your Free Time to Create New Wealth & Purpose, writes that we have basically three eight-hour blocks of time each (week)day:
- The Other 8 Hours
The Sleep part we can't rob from for very long (at least I can't).
The Work part is an exchange of time for money that keeps our lives and our families going at some level of flair: paying mortgages, buying food and clothing, maintaining transportation, and all of the other trappings that bring meaning and joy to us and those we care about.
Then there is the block of time that he calls The Other 8 Hours, which is the time that you've got that isn't spent either (a) unconscious in bed or (b) working for a paycheck.
Pagliarini spends the large part of the book discussing those other eight hours and how to maximize the value they bring to you.
Creating value when things are unsettling
Part of what makes times of transitions unsettling is a perceived lack of control. We see changes happening at the highest levels, some of which affect us directly, and there isn't a thing we can do about them except adjust to them.
That's exactly why those Other Eight Hours are so, so important.
The premise behind them is that those eight hours are yours.
Those eight hours could be filled with stuff you don't want there (commutes), stuff you do want there (family dinners), and perhaps stuff that shouldn't be there (excessive web surfing).
But, odds are that you do have some time for yourself left over. Making even a few hours a week to create something of value can bring you a new feeling of control in your life.
- Creating value for money. I've created music, websites, and writing for money. My wife has a broader array: sewing, crocheting, costume design, works of fiction, and even homemade dog food. There are endless ways to make money by creating items and selling them.
- Creating value for an audience. A longer-term strategy is to build a platform and assemble a tribe that values what you create. (To learn more about platform-building, consider Michael Hyatt's Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World. To learn more about tribes, consider Seth Godin's Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us.) This creates a tailored market for what you have to offer.
- Creating value for family. We do this all the time (as do most families). We have a garden that produces fruits, vegetables, and flowers. Heck, cooking at home is creative, even if all the food is store-bought.
- Creating value for you. When I create music, others tell me that they enjoyed hearing it. When my wife writes a book, she gets five-star reviews on Amazon and others keep pestering her for the next book. But regardless of whether we ever see a cent, we've created for us. We've gotten a rise out of what we've created.
Even if you never see a dime from things you've created, you have the satisfaction of having created it.
That satisfaction is perhaps most valuable of all.