The Journey Blog

Spare Time & Self-Employment 🧰

What’s the time? Time to check in with you!

Spare time – yep, right now you’re probably finding you’ve got more of it. But what are you doing with it? And, where’s all the time going?

In a perfect world, we wouldn’t even be asking ourselves these questions. There’d be no need to. The fact is we live in an imperfect world and we get to use the imperfections in our lives as opportunities for reflection and change. Use this time to create a new baseline. Get inspired!

What’s inspiring me right now?

My mum sent me a pretty outstanding Winston Churchill quote the other day, “never let a good crisis go to waste.” I’m fairly certain Churchill was meaning on a macro-scale but it made me question what wasting a crisis would look like on a personal level.

So, getting microscopic, what are the opportunities that are being presented to us right now and are we using our days as effectively as we could be? I’m asking myself whether I’m using my time and my spare time as well as I can be.

So, what can you do?

We can use our time effectively! This is going to look different for everyone. For some people, the new normal isn’t going to be a lot different from what they’re used to. They won’t have much more spare time (maybe just their commute time!) – for these people, I guess they can endeavour to use their time more effectively to create spare time.

Others will already have plenty of spare time right now. Has it been long enough now that you’ve recovered from the shock of the lockdown (#shockdown?) and your creative juices have begun to flow again? If not, consider this a nudge in the right direction.

How do you use your time effectively?

What would you like to do? What have you been trying to get done for the last few weeks, months, or years?

Write it down. Those are goals. Map them out. Everyday, do something that puts you closer to achieving your goals. I keep a to-do list, it’s with me on my phone and laptop and it’s frequently updated with notes and new goals as old goals get crossed off. It keeps me moving forward.

My personal and professional lives don’t get separate to-do lists either. It’s like this:

  • Have you written blog post yet? (this one recurs every Wednesday)
  • Water the house plants
  • Update financial forecast for [insert favourite client]
  • Mow the lawns
  • Stay at home (okay, that’s not actually on my list 😂)

It’s a great time for me to get ahead around the house but I recognise that I need to juggle this with work, that’s why I keep all of my tasks in one place. I’m also limited by what’s available to me right now – be realistic when breaking your goals down into achievable steps.

In the end, I reckon new skills and knowledge (amongst a bunch of other things like improved resilience and capacity for empathy) are going to come from people trying to live their new hybrid work/personal lives in this new normal. They’re going to overcome and adapt. Fundamentally, I think if people can accept and embrace change, the new skills are going to be learned naturally.

But, you’ve got to block out the noise.

My social media channels have recently been inundated with images like the following:

Are you really wasting your crisis if you’re not using your new-found spare time to specifically learn a new skill, side hustle or whatever? I don’t think look at it quite that simply. There’s definitely more to it than that – don’t put that pressure on yourself. Do your best. That’s all that matters. After all, we’re in a crisis!

If you’re that way inclined though…

If you are determined to use your spare time to learn a new skill, start-up a side hustle, or enhance your productivity but don’t know what to do… try these out for size:

  • Start a blog! (I’m biased, of course!)
  • Learn about digital marketing with Google Digital Garage
  • Improve your cooking skills (and document the journey!)
  • Take up walking, running, or cycling (with adequate social distance – oh, and document the journey!)
  • Learn the history of your suburb, city, and country.

You get the idea. You got this!


I fear I’m getting a bit repetitive here.. but Billie just so damn good and cute! We love her. Look at that face <3 (her face, not mine!)


Interested in sweet promo codes and exclusive access to awesome content? Check this out.

P.S. About that cover photo..

That watch is a piece of work (in a good way!), it’s a Timex Weekender. They didn’t sponsor this post or anything (I wish!), I’m just a big fan. It’s reasonably priced, lasts forever, looks good, and has a backlight!

When COVID19 is all said and done, find a local watch retailer and pick yourself up a Weekender!

One reply on “Spare Time & Self-Employment 🧰”

[…] Last week, I wrote about the effective use of time. Basically, if we can free up time or if we suddenly have access to a lot more time, how do we go about using it? I wanted to inspire readers to try something new or to change-up the way they’re doing things. I even included a (very) short-list of things that people could try with their new-found freedom… but, for some people that list would have been pretty uninspiring. […]

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