You probably express these sentiments with your family, friends and work-mates, frequently. The truth is that there are very few adults who feel they have an abundance of time. On the contrary, most people seem to never have enough time to do the things they need to do, let alone the things they want to do.
There are 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day, 168 hours in a week, 52 weeks in a year…you get the picture. But unlike money, which we each can possess in various amounts, when it comes to time, everyone has the same amount of time with which to work.
Many people experience frustration around time, wanting more of it when “more” cannot be created. Their problem: they mistakenly believe they can manage time (they tend to have the same mistaken notion when it comes to money as well). You don’t manage money and you certainly don’t manage time!
But, you can make choices that make you “feel” as though you are managing your time (and your money) and managing it well. To do so, however, you have to know how you are currently spending your time.
If I asked you what did you do last Monday from 5-7pm, could you tell me? What if I upped the ante and asked, what did you do two Mondays ago from 9-10am? You might say, “I was working.” Okay, what were you working on? Were you working on something that was the best use of your time at that time?
For the next week, track how you spend your time from the moment you rise to the moment you go to bed (include what projects/tasks you’re doing while at work). It’s not easy, but it is certainly worthwhile! You will likely be surprised by the reality versus your perception of not only what you’re doing with each hour but how long it takes you to do some tasks, especially the ones you’d describe as routine.
Not convinced tracking your time is a valuable exercise? Then, ponder the inextricable relationship between time and money. The adage “time is money” is often used to describe the time/money trade-off. Time and money are so intertwined that some people erroneously assign equal value to the exchange. However, unlike money, which can be replaced, time, once used, cannot!
The exchange between something you can’t replace (time) with something you can (money) may not be equal, but what is true for both is that they are “spent.” And how you “spend” your time (and money) expresses your values and priorities. The effective use of your time is the common denominator between fulfilling your goals and growing your money, making it critically important to know what you are doing with the 168 hours you have each week!
Have fun tracking your time!
p.s. need a bit of inspiration to really do this exercise of tracking your time? Well, there’s a correlation between your earnings and how you spend your time. So if you want to earn more money, track your time!!