“No person will ever have occasion to complain of the want of time,
who never loses any.” Thomas Jefferson to his daughter Patsy.
If we all enjoy the same 168 hours in a week, how is it possible that some people manage to do so much while others so little? It all depends on our relationship with time. Do we believe we have control of our time? Or do we believe our time controls us? Complains like "I never have time for anything!” or “I spent the day doing stuff, and my to-do list keeps growing!" convey the idea that time has a hold on us. But it doesn't. Trust me; it doesn't!
When people worry only about what's coming up next, they fail to see the broader picture: a whole-week schedule.
Saunders says that “by regularly putting your proactive goals ahead of reactive tasks and carefully choosing how to focus your energy and effort, you empower yourself to have enough time for what’s most important.” Prioritization is key. We need to invest our time in matters conducive to advancing our goals. The 80/20 rule (or Pareto Principle) tells us that 80% of the desired outcomes come from 20% of the effort. So, by choosing to invest our time in high-value activities, we are investing our time where it yields the best results.
What would your time budget include? Let's imagine it for a moment. One column represents the whole of our time, i.e., 24 hours per day for a total of 168 hours per week. Another column shows our known time debits: nightly sleep hours, work hours, and so on. How many "free" hours do you have left? Where should you invest those hours? Since we cannot roll over the unused hours to the next day -don't you wish we could?- we better make good use of them by doing an activity that's fun, memorable, and/or relaxing. Just make sure those hours are well-spent in rewarding, positive actions that improve your life.
Creating a time budget helps us invest our time with the same consideration we invest money. It's an excellent way of establishing priorities and canceling the mentality of time-scarcity that some of us have.
Do you like the idea of creating a time budget? Would it help you optimize your time? Let me know your thoughts. If you liked what you read, please like, share, and comment. I would love to hear your point of view regarding time budgets.