Posted on 10 May 2019
Time is your most valuable currency. You can trade it for skills, opportunity and entertainment but you can never buy it back. If each moment is a transaction between you and the world you must be sure that you are getting your minutes’ worth. The best way to do this is to budget time much like you would money. The only real difference between time and money is that everyone gets the same amount in each day and you never know when the bank account is going to run dry. So, tally up the expenses and figure out what you are spending your time doing. It can be surprising how the time cost of our lives adds up over the weeks and months. For instance, spending two hours an evening watching T.V nets you ten by the end of the work week!
The incredible thing about looking at time this way is that it is immensely powerful if used correctly. You must ask yourself “where would I be in a year if I used my time more effectively?”. If you swap out the T.V time for learning an instrument, reading or spending quality time with the family those two hours a night nets you roughly 520 hours a year. Obviously, we cannot perfectly account for every minute but even slight changes in habits add up after years. To this end, you must rearrange your expenses and put more time towards the goals you wish to achieve.
Planning does not have to be boring. Make it an integral part of your weekly routine.
Your weapons in this realm of time management is the humble schedule, wielded by the strong arm of your self-discipline. The schedule comes in many forms and often they are best used in conjuncture with one another. Personally, I find having a, big, old yearly wall planner is super helpful. If you actively maintain one, no plan, assignment, date or work shift will sneak up on you ever again. The added benefit of a yearly planner is that it is a visual reminder that each year really is made up of single days. It’s a good motivator for when you are feeling like being careless with your time.
Along with the yearly planner you need a schedule for each day. This can be as simple as list of things to get done. The level of detail is yours to choose, but whatever the case maybe you should try and have the discipline to stick to the plan. There is wonderful freedom to be had in a day well planned where your efforts are focused, and your attention is sharp.
Free monthly planners, just like this one, are an easy place to start adding some structure to your life.
Every day should move you closer to where you want to be, and the schedule is your road map for getting there.
On the journey of taking control of your time beware the henchmen of distraction. Social media, YouTube and Netflix are called time sinks for a reason. To truly enjoy these activities, it is better to schedule them into your days than engage in them spontaneously. If they are part of the plan you can enjoy them guilt free and be more in control of the time you give them.
Scheduling is an important skill to learn. It may sound tedious but the benefit of intelligently investing your time will result in newfound personal freedom. One of life’s greatest challenges is being able to turn your time into a life worth living, so rise boldly to the challenge and make a weekly schedule!
Get planning gentlemen.
By Gabriel Segal
Gabriel is currently completing a double degree in international studies and finance. He takes great interest in what history and contemporary experience can teach us about living a full life.