If you’re savvy with your money you’ve probably got a budget that helps you manage your hard earned cash wisely. But as time is our most valuable commodity it goes without saying that we should all have a time budget too. The problem is that most people don’t, and that’s why they can find themselves regularly wasting this important resource. So if you would like to spend your time more wisely here’s how…
Your Most Valuable Commodity
Unlike money, you can’t borrow, store or multiply time – all you can do is spend it. Spending less time doing something isn’t saving time, it’s actually spending your time more wisely because you can’t put the additional time you ’saved’ into a bank and use it later (unfortunately!).
So having an awareness of how you spend your time, and then budgeting smartly on how you’re going to use it in the future is important. Follow these simple steps to set a Time Budget that will help you make the most of this valuable commodity: -
1. Where are you spending it?
- Take a moment now to write down where you currently spend your time.
- Do you work long hours; get up late; procrastinate; flaff around on email or waste time on social media?
- Just like a financial budget, you need to know where you’re currently spending your time to be able to make effective changes. If you’re unsure, keep a time diary so that you really know when you’re time is going.
2. Where do you want to spend it?
- Realistically, how would you like to be spending your time?
- Do you want to exercise more regularly; see your family more; leave the office at a decent time or get key projects done on time?
- If you don’t know where you want to spend your time you can’t budget effectively so make sure you have a clear vision of how you would like your time to be dished out otherwise you’ll probably find someone else dictates that decision for you
3. Where are you spending your time unwisely?
- In setting a financial budget it would be important to identify areas where you’re wasting money or could possibly cut back your spending – do the same with time
- What tasks or jobs are you doing that waste your time? Write them down.
4. What changes do you need to make?
- From your answers in #3, what’s the first change you would like to make to your budget?
- For example, if you’ve identified that you spend too much time on email you could decide to only check your inbox three times a day, for 15 minutes each time. Or perhaps you spend too much time watching TV and by cutting that down you could find more time to exercise
5. What activities do you need to schedule in your diary?
- Blocking appointments in your diary is critical if you want to spend your time smartly
- Now that you’ve identified the changes you want to make, schedule time in your diary for each task as this increases focus and commitment to follow through with your budget
- Create a diary that looks the way you want to spend your time and commit to executing your plan
As Psychologist Dr. Denis Waitley points out, “Each human being has exactly the same number of hours and minutes every day. Rich people can’t buy more hours. Scientists can’t invent more hours.” So how you choose to budget your time, and then spend it, is the key to how successful your life is.
What changes are you going to make to your time budget? Post a comment below and let me know…