The sun is out. You’re sitting at your desk working and enjoying the view outside. It may be morning or afternoon. Your call. You’re getting the work done on your time. No one is looking over your shoulder, watching you punch a clock. You’re making money in a stress-less environment and giving yourself time for You. Maybe you are making money in your sleep with an automated business. No matter how you shape your day, time is on your side.

Sound good? You bet! Increasingly I meet women who have ditched the traditional corporate life to create a business model that works on their terms. They may still be employed by their company but their work hours may be flexible or they work remotely. They have time to spend with their kids, work when they feel most productive and utilize technology to make their lives more efficient.

I believe the traditional 9 to 5 work life model is outdated in a 24/7 world for many people. Sure, there are many jobs that require set hours, such as financial services, hospitals, schools, restaurants and brick and mortar businesses. But there are many other forms of work where flex time may be your best time, especially with all the great technology we have at our fingertips.

Friends and people I have interviewed have made the move. After logging time sheets for another company years ago I took back my time. If 2017 is your year to take back your time, here are some time honored tips:

Numbers do matter. You need to be accountable for your time to make things happen. But you can rework the traditional mindset of “work hours” and still make things add up.

The first number that matters is 1: You need to take care of #1 which is your well-being. Give yourself time every day to to do this.

The next number that matters is 24. It’s the only number that’s inflexible because it’s the number of hours you have every day to manage your time.

The third number is 100: You should put 100% of yourself into everything you do to make your time more productive. This means stop wasting time or allowing yourself to be distracted. This takes discipline. Avoid looking at emails or social media. Shut the door and turn the phone on vibrate. Focus on the job – or person- in front of you and don’t let your mind wander.

Between 1 and 100 there are myriad of things to do, and time can slip away easily or drag on forever depending on your approach.

Make your hours count instead of counting your hours. You can achieve more in less time if you put your mind to it and work efficiently. Delegate when necessary; ask for help and use automation when you can.

Work when you feel most productive. Address your most challenging work during the hours when your energy is stronger and your mind has the most clarity. This will be different for everyone.

Give yourself a hard stop. No one can or should be on duty all the time. Even the most demanding work should not consume all of your time or your well-being. If it does, it’s time to rethink the role and reset your time clock.

Respect that other people are not always working in your  “time zone.”  I am an energizer bunny when I wake up in the morning, brimming with ideas and a list of what I hope to achieve for the day. My husband needs to slowly percolate awake after a few cups of coffee. I’ve learned to just work quietly in my “zone” rather than attempt to talk “shop” with him in the mornings to give him time.

Not everyone will be as flexible. Working flexible hours may take some convincing if you are employed at a traditional job with set hours. Understand what your company’s policy before you flex your muscles with your boss and HR. Be prepared to document your time and what you have accomplished when you are granted flex time to ensure their confidence in the arrangement.

Make it about them, not you. Sad to say but many employers really don’t really care about your personal needs. So, when you ask for flex time, focus on how it will help you be more productive to the company as a member of the team rather than how it will benefit you.

If time is not on your side, don’t waste another minute being miserable. The only thing worse than feeling you are wasting your time is believing you have wasted your life. If the situation you are in, either professionally or personally, is making you unhappy or unfulfilled then maybe it’s time to take a leap of faith and move on. Many have done it, and the path is well paved with advice books and coaches to help you.

An individual at the end of her life never wishes she had more money to spend, only more time.