Want More Freedom?

Author: The Career Passion® Coach |

Blog by The Career Passion® Coach

Got freedom?

The 4th of July gets me thinking about freedom. As Americans, we are probably the most free society on the planet. Yet, many of us feel we are “locked into” jobs that are not satisfying. I think some job distress comes from an overall feeling that ALL our time is committed. When we aren’t working, we have social and family commitments. We don’t have a single day without appointments. Even our weekends are filled with soccer, baseball, and random social events.

Freedom isn't about breaking free from external constraints; it's also about reclaiming control over your time, energy, and mind. Here are five tips I have used to gain control and create more freedom in my life.

1. Evaluate Your Commitments. Take a step back and assess how you're spending your time. Ask yourself, "Is this really how I want to spend my life?" Many of us find ourselves committed to activities that don't align with our true desires and values. Do your kids really ENJOY soccer? Little League? Taekwondo? What if they had to choose ONE? By prioritizing what truly matters, you can free up time for the things that bring you joy and fulfillment as a family. Every commitment should serve your long-term personal happiness. But, too many commitments, no matter how valuable, can make you feel boxed in and exhausted.

2. Create ONE free day each week. It could be Saturday or Sunday, or maybe Friday if you can swing it. Create one day a week with NO commitments and NO schedule. If you are like me, you will find the day seems to last longer. You get time to just take a long walk, go to the park, read a good book, or binge-watch a favorite show. You won’t even mind preparing a meal or doing a load of laundry, because you don’t have to. When we vacation for 7 days, I try to plan half of the days with no plans. We get up when we feel like it, eat when we want, and spontaneously choose what to do. Ahhhhhhhhhh, freedom!

3. Mind Your Mental Diet. What you feed your brain matters just as much as what you feed your body. Start your day with positive and inspiring content instead of harsh, judgmental news commentary. Spend a few minutes in meditation or reading something uplifting. This practice sets a positive tone for the day and helps you maintain a balanced and peaceful mindset. Control the inputs to your brain, and you'll find your outlook on life becoming more positive and liberated.

4. Limit Time-Sucking Activities. I know I can get lost on Facebook, Instagram, or X and spend an hour doing absolutely nothing! Take a look at the amount of time you spend shopping, browsing, or dealing with advertising in your email stream. These activities can eat up significant chunks of your day without providing much value. By setting specific times for these tasks and sticking to them, you can reclaim precious hours for more meaningful activities. Consider using tools and apps that filter out unwanted ads and streamline your shopping process. Also, as a big-time shopper, I don’t look at catalogs or ads unless I’m looking for something specific. The deals will be there next week, next month, and the next time you look!

4. Simplify Your Mail. Decluttering your physical and digital mail can have a profound impact on your sense of freedom. So can systems. Choose a day of the month when your bank account has the most money – then schedule payments for all your bills once a month, or set automatic payments. Develop a system for reading mail and dealing with it. I use three folders: Trash, Bills to Pay, and File. The catalogs go in a cabinet – just in case I want to shop. Once a month, I dump all the catalogs and magazines. I also delete emails once a month. They are still available when I search, but not clogging my inbox. For example, at the end of June, I deleted all my May emails that weren’t in folders. There is something so satisfying about whittling down a 4-inch stack of mail in a few minutes! A clutter-free environment promotes clarity and focus, allowing you to feel more at ease.

5. Organize your storage. Start small by organizing a single drawer or digital folder, and gradually tackle larger areas. I like to dump out the contents, then carefully put back only what I want and need. I did this with my sock drawer and felt great passing on 24 pairs of socks to charity. The more you simplify, the more space you'll create for creativity, relaxation, and personal growth.

6.  Set Boundaries and Learn to Say No. Protecting your time and energy requires setting clear boundaries with others. It's okay to say no to requests that don't align with your priorities or that drain your energy. If you dread doing it, just say “no.” There is always another volunteer who could take your place. A good practice when you get a request for help is to say, “What is involved? Let me think about it for 24 hours.” Then, evaluate if you have the time and truly WANT to give your time.

Freedom is about creating a life that works for YOU. Who else is in charge? Remember, the thing all humans have in common is time—24 hours each day. How you use it defines the quality of your life.

Here’s to freedom!

Catherine Jewell
The Career Passion® Coach

PS: Do you feel that you should be making more money in your job? Check out my Salary Boost Income Calculator. Then, let’s talk about how to make it happen.

Categories: Career Advice , Career Coach , Career Coaching , Career Counseling , Career Strategy , Career Wisdom , Job Seeking , jobseeker