#29: We Keep Lying to Ourselves About Time

newsletter Jul 01, 2024

In the Oslo, Norway airport as I write this.

It's 7:32am local time on June 29, 2024, and I just arrived from Lebanon to spend time with a friend. I've been contemplating coming to Norway for years. This is country 99, while I have been on country 98 (Lebanon, for 5 years).

My excuse was that I don't have time. And then I remembered I know how to create time to Try Life On more, so I did. And now I'm in Norway using an $88 travel hacked business ticket.

What about you?

What about that thing you want to build or place you want to be that you say "..I don't have time".

Yes. You do have time. Stop lying to yourself.

The issue of time continues to be the #1 thing that comes up in conversation.

"I want to Try Life On but I simply have no time".

Actually, you do.

Problem is you're trained to use time systematically to build someone else's dream at work rather than finding solutions to build your own. It's what school teaches us over the course of 20 years and it becomes programming.

I get it. I had the same issue too.

You wake up, go to work, and find solutions to every problem your employer has, without fail. Yet for our own life and aspirations we say to ourselves "...I have no time".

It's backwards.

Figured this out in my late 20s.


It's on you to understand and leverage the resource that is "Time".

I commonly refer to the skill as "Time Freedom" - the ability to control one's time to use as desired. To plug into planet and life as intended.

It allows one to prioritize activities in alignment with values and purpose. This may include spending time with family, pursuing business or personal interests, or working on personal development, for example, without constraints and demands of others, including a job.

Securing time freedom can manifest as flexible work schedule, working virtually from anywhere in the world, including home, being self-employed or creating entreprenurial endeavors leading to Purpose and other freedoms (financial, location, relationships). That space allows us to access life, planet and opportunity as intended.

Don't confuse financial freedom as the tool that creates time. It's actually reverse. It's creating and protecting time that gives you "space" to create financial and the other freedoms.

But how?

Protect time. Create Time. And then leverage it to build lifestyle you don't need vacation from.

Understand Pareto's Principle and Parkinson's Law


How to Protect Time

Leverage Pareto’s Principle vs. defaulting to Parkinson’s Law. Pareto’s principle says to do the 20% of things that give you 80% of the result. Parkinson's law says things expand to the time available.

The wasting of time seen in my 25 years as a corporate executive and 22 years as a military officer was epic. Even in my entrepreneurial space, it’s prevalent…

1-hour long meetings to complete a 5 min task.

The arbitrary 8-hour day for outcomes achievable in one.

The just because networking event because peers or friends are going.

We tend to fill days with time wasters simply because “space” exists to allow it.

That’s Parkinson’s law in full effect.

Then we’ll say we don’t have time for our own goals. Learn to spot time wasters and veer away.

In my corporate and entrepreneurial spaces, to the extent possible, I ignore non-impactful meetings, training classes, phone calls, travel, etc. I don’t go to conferences or happy hours just to go, for example.

From 1997 (career start) to 2013, promoted 4x.

From 2013, stopped accepting promotions (Not pay raises).

Here's why.

Making $200K at 40 hours. Next promotion was $250K, but now 70-90 hours + scrutiny from leadership. The time tradeoff wasn’t worth it (unless the position is a goal or passion), assuming you leverage the time.

Titles & money don’t always add up. An alternative thought.

Protect + leverage the time freedom to build your lifestyle.

Used 'protected' 30-50 hours and salary for financial education, bought 2000+ units of real estate, acted on TV/movies, became a police officer, built investment firm, developed Mediterranean property, 100 countries for life experiences in 30s and 40s, not 60s. Made so many friendships along the way instead of spending more time in an office.

Protected time used to build lifestyle > extra $50K.

Pareto’s Principle (the 80/20 rule) became a huge focus. I prioritized the 20% of activities giving 80% of the result (versus 80% busy work giving a 20% result), ignored the rest, and used the protected time for impactful work, life & entrepreneurial ventures.

You can too.


How to Create Time

The notion we have no time is more we lack commitment to self. If you think otherwise, you may be fooling yourself. You find 8-10 hours a day for your employer, right? What about your own life goals?

Let’s create a 14-month year.

4-8am each weekday = 20 hours a week.

That’s 80 hours a month = 960 hours a year.

That’s 5.71 weeks created = 1.5 months!

Add a Saturday and Sunday 4-hour block…

That’s 112 hours a month, 1344 hours a year.

Close to 2 full months on YOU and DREAMS.

Whether it's 4-8 am, 7-11 pm, or 2 at lunch + 2 in the car, be intentional. Too tired? Kill Netflix or beer the night before and go to bed. Since age 25, the 4am hour has generally been my time.

You don’t have to get up at 4 am. Don’t use that as an excuse. Create time for self during some other part of day. Set priorities. It’s a choice. Make it, or someone will for you.

Created several $M businesses this way and designed life while working as a full time executive, a policeman and military officer. I still do this after 27 years because dreams evolve. My aspirations get my attention every day.

There's lots of challenges to building the skill that is Time Freedom, including work demands, financial constraints, and personal discipline. The one I see the most is deference to societal expectations and cultural norms.

The strong emphasis on, for example, climbing the corporate ladder derails people as a chase version of success they never intended, ultimately wasting time. You could use that time to build the true dream business, lifestyle, or family you always wanted.

Be aware of the challenges. Recognize them and make changes. Most importantly, set boundaries. In the end, your life is your own. Time Freedom is a skill you can work on.


There is no excuse. You have time.

Use it to build lifestyle and Try Life On.

If you want to learn more listen to Try Life On Podcast Episode 44 - Understanding Time Freedom.

It may be a game changer for you.

I'm going to Try Life On in Oslo, Norway today because I created and protected time to do so. I hope you do the same for your life in some way. You deserve it. Your life book deserves it.