We all have a lot of things we need to do, people we need to support, tasks we need to complete, appointments to attend…and the list goes on. So how do we make sure we do both what needs to be done and what we want to do?
Changing the way we look at time may hold the key to achieving this balance. Many of us tend to look at time as just something we have. Simply put, there are twenty four hours a day so we do our best to achieve what we can.
What if instead we viewed time as something we have? We could choose to look at time more like we do money and recognize we only have a finite amount so we need to consciously decide how to spend and invest it.
We all think twice before spending the last $20 bill we have on us. We review prospectus documents and past performance metrics before buying stocks or mutual funds. We get appraisals and home inspections before buying a house. Yet we often go through our day doing what others tell us to do without a second thought. We spend our time as if it isn’t ours to control.
Time like money has restrictions. There are those things in life we have to do with our time, much like the things we have to do with our money like pay taxes, buy food, and pay rent. With money we can choose our lifestyle which determines our expenses and subsequently our disposable income. Imagine if we looked at time the same way?
We can choose to invest a moment to list not only what we have to do but also what we want to do and allocate our time accordingly. We can actively pay attention to how much time we give to the ‘have to do list’. Think of this list as akin to determining a down payment and mortgage payments for a new home. Do we have to pay as much time upfront as we have been doing on what needs to be done or can we spend less today and spread out the rest of the needed time in smaller chunks so that we have left over time to spend elsewhere? This discretionary time can be used to fund the things we love to do and to be with the people we love. Time spent on what we want to do fuels our souls and energizes the spirit.
The return on investment on time when it is spent where we want to spend it is exponential. It will add value to every part of our lives and to the lives of those we with whom we choose to spend it.
Recognize that time is something you make and spend yours wisely!