Life experiments

Posted by Eddo on April 14, 2015

Time management used to be quite a thing in the 1990’s, which we have replaced with agile working in the 2000’s … but this doesn’t take away that still a lot of time is wasted by people. I have come to enjoy living more intentionally, where my actions do have impact and that I’m steering the path, instead of being controlled by the insanity of the day.

Therefore, in the past year and a half I have been experimenting with a few things to live more focused and intentionally, and source alternative sources of income. Clarification up front; not all these experiments have turned out to be a success, more failures … which I hope to learn from.

Passive income experiments

Early on in the process of experimenting, I was introduced to the concept of selling my photos as artwork via, as site that offers possibilities for people looking for unique art on their walls to find a cool piece, and for photographers to show their work and sell prints. Believe to have sold twothree printed pieces of work through this channel, in all this time. Thus, it wasn’t quite a success for me.

A similar story for my photos on, for which only one was licensed thus far.

Simply put, a fail in my opinion. Apparently my photos are not really what art-buyers are looking for.

Eliminate time wasted

One of the most time-consuming processes for me was responding to email, both private and as a treasurer of the local canoeing club. With the introduction of Mailbox on iOS, the idea of moving toward “inbox zero” sparked a revolution in the way I handled email. The concept provides that either act upon an incoming message directly, or defer it to a later moment. The action may also be that you archive or delete it directly. I now schedule time blocks for myself in which I check email, and not be automatically alerted when new email arrives, I want to respond to it in my own time, not interfering in my work at that time. This same concept is also applied with my office email, for which also no alerts are popping up during my work. When I’m working, I’d like to do that uninterrupted, without distractions. This already has led to colleagues mentioning that they sent me an email, in the idea that I must have read it already five minutes after they’d sent it, and whether I had an answer for them.

In another way, the idea of owning less stuff eliminates my time wasted in finding new stuff to purchase. OK, of course there still are moments that I think about buying something, but I also think about the effect it will have from a larger perspective than fulfilling an urge at that moment. There’s no need for me to own a huge amount of stuff, I’d rather be happy with less and spend my money on experiences with my girlfriend, family, and/or friends.

These two experiments, as you can probably gather, have been qualified as success.


I’d like to thank Steven & Diana @digitalnomads of Wonderlijk Werken for their inspiration in performing these experiments and writing this article, and Graham Hill for his TEDx talk about a relation between owning stuff and happiness. Hope to have sparked a bit of inspiration myself for others to engage in similar experiments.

P.S. If you’ve enjoyed this article or found it helpful, please share it, or check out my other articles. I’m on Instagram and Twitter too if you’d like to follow along on my adventures and other writings, or comment on the article.