Wednesday, 25 March 2015
TIME IS MONEY,INVEST IT LIKE YOU INVEST YOUR MONEY
Time is a precious asset in as much that we should all make the most of it. We should all learn to make more time for the things we love, and that's why it’s important to create sort of schedule for yourself.
It is of a fact that time is sacred to us. We all have 24 hours each in a day, no more no less. Once it’s gone, it can not be regained so it is wise to spend your time as best as you can.
Most of us are still wondering how did 2014 just fly by, and I’m no different. I think time flies by the older you get. =) While it’s true that time flies by when we’re “having fun”, it can also pass by quickly when we find ourselves overwhelmed with things to do. I thought it would be a good idea to approach time as we do our money. Most of us are familiar with budgeting, even if we don’t actively budget. When we’re in control of our money, we’re happier, aren’t we? So why not take back control of our time as well? Let’s take a look at how we can apply the principles of budgeting your money to budgeting your time.
Track Your Time
Just as it’s important to track your spending , you need to track your time to figure out where it’s being wasted the most. Are you spending hours upon hours browsing social media, getting sucked
into a game, watching TV, or (gasp) reading blogs? Could you be doing more with your time? Probably. Spend a few weeks tracking your time, and then look at the results. Do you see any patterns? Are
you happy with how things look? If not, change it! Optimize how you spend your time just like you optimize your spending. You can track your time in categories, just like a regular budget. An example might be:
Sleep : 49 hours
Work: 45 hours
Side Hustles: 20 hours
Family Time : 20 hours
Exercising: 15 hours
Cooking: 5 hours
Relaxing: 14 hours
Total = 168 hours
Yours will probably look a bit more detailed, but you get the idea! This will give you a good overview of where you’re spending too much time, or too little time, and it’s a great starting point to managing your time better.
Are You Spending Time On Things You Value?
Another correlation between time and money – I urge everyone to spend on what matters most to them. If you prioritize retirement and travel, then you should be stashing away as much as possible toward both. When looking at how you spend your time, do the same. Know that your time is valuable, and you should be spending it on things that also provide you with value.
Do you find yourself criticizing how much time you wasted on a certain activity? Are the things you’re spending your time on bringing you joy? If not, it’s time to cut them out!
For example, if you think you’re spending too much time on social media, and it’s not providing value to your life in any way, then get off it. Install a tool that limits your time browsing the web, or make a promise to yourself to only check your social media accounts once a day. If you’re not sure if you’re spending your time in a valuable way, focus on your goals.
Do you want more time to spend with family and friends? More time to work? More time to exercise? Is the way you’re spending your time aligning with these goals? Realize that taking part in a “wasteful” activity equals time being taken away from your goals, and make adjustments accordingly.
Be Mindful of How You’re Spending Your Time
We should all aim to be conscious shoppers , but how many of us are conscious of how we’re spending our time? I’m willing to bet you are – to an extent. Maybe you’ve thought, “I should really be doing X right now, instead of Y, but I’ll get to it in a few minutes.” Or, “I just don’t feel like it right now. I’ll do it tomorrow.” You can go further with this and also analyze why you choose to spend your time as you do. If you’re procrastinating, ask yourself why. You should spend your time meaningfully, and with intent, for the most part. Even if you’re relaxing! Don’t default to sitting in front of the TV if it truly doesn’t make you happy. I sometimes struggle with this – I’m not a TV person at all, but I do fall into the trap of relaxing on the couch while the TV is on. Don’t shrug things off – the next time you decide to relax, do so in a way that makes you happy. Make a conscious choice when deciding how to spend your time.
Work Backwards and Make a Time Budget
There are scale of preferences in your financial budget such as a new phone, laptop, gadget, clothes and so on. These expenses stay the same, and the important ones come first. Structure your time the same way. If you’re having trouble figuring out how much time you want to spend on each category, think of it in terms of fixed expenses. Sleep should probably come first, followed by work. Fit in your other commitments and interests around your biggest priorities. For example, if you’re prioritizing spending time with family, and you want to spend at least 20 hours a week doing that, then make sure you get those 20 hours a week in, and schedule everything else around that. It’s almost like paying yourself first – you have to put time with your family first!
Budgeting Your Time Will Help You Say “No”
If something isn’t in your budget, you typically say "No” to it, right? If friends ask you to go out, but your relaxation spending is maxed, you’re going to decline their invitation. (Okay, maybe in a perfect world, but go with it!) The end goal of budgeting your time is to help you manage your time better. If something that wasn’t originally in your time budget pops up, you can either decide to decline because you don’t have the time for it, or you can accept in place of another appointment you had already scheduled. Let’s say your friends do invite you out, and you haven’t seen them in a long time. However, you’ve already scheduled time to learn a new skill. You can either say no, or you can (hopefully) take a look at the course another time. Just like you can move your money around, you can move your commitments and schedule around, too.
I had actually never thought about creating a time budget before, but I’m curious to see the results! I have a feeling many of us are preoccupied with one thing or the other and can probably use a little more emphasis on sleep and relaxation. So many people say that it’s eye- opening to track their expenses, but I bet it’s just as eye-opening to realize how much time we’re dedicating to certain areas of our lives.