If you don’t budget your money you will most likely end up with none. At least that is the case for most people. There just never seems to be enough money to take care of everything we want and need so we have to prioritize and make choices.
Maybe you’re one of the fortunate ones and you have or will figure out how to produce enough income that you don’t have to worry about this but when it comes to time, there is nothing you can do to produce or buy more of that.
When it comes to time, just about all of us never have enough time to do everything we need or want to. It is more important to budget our time yet most of us don’t do a very good job of it all.
My suggestion is to first create a habit of treating your calendar like a budget.
First, prioritize everything that consumes your time. My priority list is as follows;
1. selfcare – mental & physical – it’s not selfish, it’s responsible
2. relationships – significant others, family, friends
3. future – if you are not working or planning your future, you won’t have one
4. Must dos – these have to be completed
5. Want tos – the things most of us never do
We all start each week with 168 hours in our account. If we spend 8 hours a night sleeping and at least one hour a day taking care of ourselves whether that be exercising, meditating, therapy, etc. that leaves us with 105 hours.
How much time do you want to spend each week improving relationships in your life? If you wish to spend at least 1 hour a day with your significant other six days a week and one date night each week for another 4 hours we are down to 95 hours. What other relationships are important to you? How many hours a week do you need to schedule for them? For the sake of this example, let’s schedule 1 hour per day calling, visiting, having lunch with or writing to those people important to us. 88 hours left.
No plan = no future. Whether it’s long term goals, financial projections, learning or building, if you don’t make time to work on you are going to end up without much of one. Working harder is not working on your future, that is surviving. Give yourself another 1 hour per day for this and we are down to 78 hours.
It’s time to go to work, go to the bank and stop at the grocery store. This is going to be a big chunk for most people. Let’s estimate 60 hours per week. That leaves 18 hours left.
Don’t spend those last hours yet. Before you sit on the couch and turn on the television let’s knock one of those items off your “Want Tos” list. How many hours a week do you want to spend doing this?
The key is to schedule all of this. It’s like filling out a check register. Enter all of these things, actually pretty much anything you have to do, into your calendar with the estimated time for each. Start first with you, then family and friends, then work and to do and then the wants.
What you should find is that even with scheduling all of this, including the many things you were not getting done before, you will actually be able to take care of all of them and still have time left over to sit on the couch and turn on the tube.
What normally happens is the opposite. Most people’s biggest priorities center around their job and take up one of the biggest sections of time. Without a plan or budget these same folks will head home or the bar after work and try to use unproductive experiences like watching television or hanging out at the bar until it’s time to go to sleep.
How much time do you spend a day watching television, hanging at the bar or other unproductive activities? How many hours is that every week? Were you shocked when you saw this number?
One last thought….. That person you know who seems to get everything and more completed each week has the exact same amount of time as you. How do they do it? How will you do it going forward?