The Elimination Game


It’s Monday. Likely you are waking up right now, searching for a reason to go back to your soul-crushing job. Oh, right. The paycheck.

Every day you drive to work feeling like Sam and Frodo on their way to Mount Doom. “The one place in Middle Earth we don’t want to see any closer, and it’s the one place we’re trying to get to.”

And if you’re like me, sometimes you cry a little on your way to work.

You just know there are good, creative jobs out there that you’re more than qualified for! …But are you proving it?

Do you want to be a painter? You’re painting, right?

Want to write? You’re writing every chance you get, right?

Want to be a cop? You’re taking classes, aren’t you?

working-hard-300x225If not, then dare I say you’re right where you need to be. You complain about going to work, you begrudgingly put in the hours, then you come home and waste your evening watching Game of Thrones only to go to bed late and do it all over again.

If this is you, it’s time to eliminate.

The principal is simple. Evaluate your daily schedule and determine what sucks up most of your time that doesn’t enhance your chances for a better future and get rid of it.

That’s right. Cancel your HBO subscription. Do away with your Candy Crush account. Shorten your showers.

I deleted my personal Facebook account a couple of months ago because some days I’d realize I’d scrolled so far down my feed that I’d be reading statuses that said: “Boycott Carter for Boycotting the Olympics.”

I eliminated other things from my life as well (like iTunes shopping, reading five chapters a day, movies, etc.), because it is that important to me to become a bestselling author so I can quit my day job and actually make a living doing what I was born to do.

So my life is split into three categories:

1) Family

2) Writing

3) Day job

Now, I may still struggle between giving due time to my family and not write, but I make up for that time at my job. I don’t spend my lunches complaining about work with my coworkers, having the same gripe session over and over again. I don’t zone out to The Price is Right that’s playing in the break room.

No, I have my laptop with me and I’m working it to death because I’ve only got an hour to write as much as I can. I don’t tune out when work is slow – I pull out my pen and paper and write until my fingers bleed, or the ink runs out in my pen.

Every. Second. Counts.

I don’t want to be at this job a second longer than I need to be.

How long have you been at your dead-end job? Make a goal to be out by a certain time, and work to beat that goal.

You weren’t born to watch TV or play online Poker. Have you ever considered that you’re still at your job because of those things? Eliminate that crap and work yourself out of your job.

Or, just be miserable for the rest of your life.

Your choice.

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Published by Andrew Toy

Writer when I'm not being a husband or dad. So mostly just a husband and dad.

33 thoughts on “The Elimination Game

  1. Got rid of the Smart Phone, because I think I was getting dumber by looking at it all the time. Have almost convinced everyone in my family to get rid of cable (yippee). Find I have a great deal more time. Great post!!!!


  2. Well done. Two thoughts on this: When driving so hard towards the future, don’t forget to live in the present, because we don’t know if we’ll ever get to the future (an accident can end it all quite suddenly). And secondly: A motivational speaker at my sister’s work pointed out that doing all these things (work, family, writing, household,etc) can feel like juggling multiple balls. Just remember that one of these balls (family) is made of fragile crystal and if you drop that one it is broken forever.

    A great read: “Time and Life Management” by Hyrum B. smith.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes! I’ve been Facebook-free for over a month and have no regrets. Shorter showers though…I’m not so sure. I did stop downloading random video games for free because the cost was too high–I lost time for writing and enjoying my family. Thanks for the great post!


  4. Reblogged this on Transitions in my Life and commented:
    I wish I’d read this post years ago when I was miserable in my job and doing absolutely nothing about it. Thankfully sometimes the universe has a way of kicking you into the right direction by closing your place of employment. It’s been a struggle but it’s also opened my eyes up to other possibilities. I agree with this post, if you’re unhappy do whatever you can to work toward what does make you happy, even if it means giving up a few hours of Facebook time 🙂


  5. Sometimes easier said than done, but I agree. I’m in the fortunate position of enjoying my day job enough, but I do want to work for myself. I’m striving to have a house paid off my the time I’m 30, so that’ll reduce my required income some. Maybe then I can start my own business in something creative, like videography. Still, I’ve got seven years between now and then – and plenty of books to write along the way 😉


  6. I’m stuck in the pit of “this is to pay for school.” It’s not that one doesn’t move forward, it’s that they have to drill to hit the cavities.


    1. Ouch! That’s a hard one. Is there anything you could be doing now to prepare for the next or final steps?


  7. So inspiring, so true. Crying every day (inside) on my way to the office: tha’ts me! I got a counseling diploma three years ago (that was my plan for an ‘alternative’ job) but then… I just gave up the idea of changing my job. Your words made me think a lot. Hopefully I will find the courage to make a real change. Grazie!


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