Why is it that one of the most valuable resources we have is just wasted away by so many people? People just throw it away as if there is an unlimited supply of it, only to regret it later when it runs out. What resource am I talking about? I am talking about the undervalued resource of time.
We are given over 1400 minutes a day, yet we waste a lot of that on social media and watching television. Many people do not place an actual value on time. We typically judge the value of everything by money. Before we buy a new TV we want to know what it will cost us. What will it cost me if I go out to a restaurant tonight? What we don’t ask is what will sitting around the house for the next few hours cost me?
If I asked you to pay me twenty dollars an hour so you could sit around your house, would you do it?( If you answered yes, feel free to contact me any time) That is essentially what you are doing anyway. The average wage right now in the US is twenty dollars an hour. That is essentially what your time is worth. If you think you are worth more than that, then sitting around is costing you even more.
Recently, I have been working a lot of extra hours in order to help attack some debt. I am working towards my goal of becoming debt free. It sounded great in the beginning. I can bring in an extra couple hundred dollars a month and knock off six months from my truck loan. What I didn’t calculate for was the cost of time away from home. The days that I work, I am away from home for over fifteen hours. I miss time with my family, my sleep schedule is horrible and I am starting to lose some of my drive throughout the week. Even though I may be bringing in a little more money, the cost in time seems to be much higher.
This reminds me a lot of the movies you see where the dad is a “successful” business executive high up in a company. The family lives in a big house, they drive nice cars, but the dad is never home. When he is home he seems to be tied up with work and never present with his family. The family seems like they would much rather have a few less toys and spend more time with their dad, than seeing him run around stressed all the time.
If you feel that you may be wasting time throughout your day, here are 4 ways to help you maximize your time:
1. Schedule Your Time
Yes this may seem weird to schedule your personal time, but you do it at work, so why not your personal time? If your activities are written down, it makes you more accountable. Have you ever had a day go by and wonder where all of your time went? If you have it scheduled in blocks, there should be no surprises. I know that things do not always go according to plan, but if you at least have a road map, you should be able to get through the day with more control. I think the greatest thing is to start my day knowing almost everything that is going to happen that day and when. A schedule helps accomplish this.
2. Invest in Yourself First
If you pick up a finance book or ever listen to financial information they always say to invest in yourself first. The same should go for time. Yes you need to give some of your time to work, but if all of your time is invested in work, how much invested in the things that truly matter like your family. This is something that has taken me a while to work on, I still do to this day.
I really love work and love watching myself grow, but if I am growing distant from my family and giving too much time to work it really is not worth it. Other ways to invest in yourself is education. If you spend part of your day absorbing high quality information, it will pay you back personally down the road.
3. Prioritize Your Time
Remember how we value most of our life by money. What is going to make me the most money? Well where should I spend my time to give me the most value in return? If you have a list of things that you want to get done throughout the day, you should put them in order from greatest value to least.
Spending time with your family should be rated higher than skimming through social media. Going to the grocery store and getting food for your family should rate higher than today’s episode of your favorite soap opera. If you put all the important things at the top of your list and run out of time to finish the rest, at least the important and high value things are taken care of and the not so important things are skipped and can be picked up at a later time. Do not rush to put these at the top of the list tomorrow, whatever is left over from today, should be prioritized against your new list for tomorrow.
4. Make Sure You Set Aside Time For Yourself
To me as far as priorities goes, me time can sometimes be one of the most valuable. Sometimes we spend so much time helping other people we forget about giving times to ourselves. Sometimes this may just be fifteen minutes to sit down, relax and take a couple deep breaths.
Tony Robbins has stated that if you do not have ten minutes for yourself then you do not have a life. The best time to schedule this is in the morning. If you have to wake up ten minutes earlier, do it. It will pay off greatly. Do it before your crazy day begins and gets away from you. Do it before you check your work email. Do it before you turn on your phone for the day.
Question: What are some tricks you use to maximize your time? You can leave a comment by clicking here.